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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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  • Nov8Mon

    Sermon: “Dressed For Service”

    November 8, 2021

        In the early days of our marriage, my wife had the sleep disrupting experience of seeing me sleepwalk firsthand. Here are a few examples. I have suddenly jumped over the end of our bed, right over the brass foot board. I have tipped over a dresser but held it up thinking I was hold something up to save someone. I have suddenly sat up in bed which like all of these, kind of made it hard for my wife to sleep through. I actually sat up during my knee surgery one time to the surprise of the doctor. One time we were staying at a hotel and I fell asleep quite early into the evening because I was exhausted after working night shifts. My wife was watching television and suddenly I leaped out of bed and ran into the bathroom, sat on the toilet while holding a pillow to cover my nakedness or so I thought. I had been dreaming that I was naked in public. Yes even in your sleep, your heart rate explodes and it seems very real and yes your wife will laugh at you. Thankfully I don’t do that anymore, I don’t even snore.

        Today I want to talk about being dressed, not naked and prepared for service. Since the time Adam and Eve sinned, we have covered ourselves. Genesis 2:25 “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Then they disobeyed. Genesis 3:9 “But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? 21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” Their eyes were opened and they saw their nakedness. But then if you look at Revelation you see a people who think they are clothed and covered but instead are naked and don’t even know it. 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.” Singing a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace doesn’t even cut it. It doesn’t matter how good it sounds if you are naked. Amos 5:23 “Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.” People are singing “Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind, but now I see.” The problem is you have a church still full of naked people singing a song that God is not listening to.

        For years the church has had a dress code. Many were and are taught that God cares more about what you wear than what is in your heart. The truth is God does care more about your heart than what you wear. So, you have people dressed up for God on Sunday but are still naked which is very much like the fable of the Emperor’s new clothes. Week after week the church puts their display of nakedness on display, all the while thinking they are dressed in beautiful garments. While the dress code has changed, the church still remains naked but not ashamed. Prophets tell people they are naked and need to repent but the people do not listen. Here is part of the fable. “The Emperor walked under his high canopy in the midst of the procession, through the streets of his capital. All the people standing by, and those at the windows, cried out, “Oh! How beautiful are our Emperor’s new clothes! What a magnificent train there is to the mantle; and how gracefully the scarf hangs!” No one would admit these much admired clothes could not be seen because, in doing so, he would have been saying he was either a fool or unfit for his job. “But the Emperor has nothing at all on!” said a little child. “Listen to the voice of the child!” exclaimed his father. What the child had said was whispered from one to another. “But he has nothing at all on!” at last cried out all the people. The Emperor was upset, for he knew that the people were right. However, he thought the procession must go on now! The lords of the bedchamber took greater pains than ever, to appear holding up a train, although, in reality, there was no train to hold, and the Emperor walked on.” This describes the church. The bible points out our nakedness but due to pride and arrogance, the church continues the procession to a place called heaven that they think they will be going to, but a lack of repentance prevents that from happening. The world has even point out the church is naked as has this pandemic.

         Meanwhile the church carries on as if there is nothing wrong, yet Revelation tells us Revelation 3:14 “These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 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.” In fact, five of the seven churches described were not as they should be. The church today is even worse with only a remnant left.

        The same happened to Israel. They were warned ahead of time, but they did not listen. Leviticus 20:22 “Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. 23 You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. 24 But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations.” Israel and Judah did not listen and they were removed from the land. 2 Kings 17:13 “The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets. 14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God.” The church has done the same and God has turned His face from us.

         We are told in Luke 12:35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.” This is where the great deception and delusion takes place in the church today. Most who have attended church or call themselves Christians think they are dressed and ready for their master’s return, yet most are “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked,” unaware and unashamed of their nakedness. When speaking in public, some say to picture the audience naked and you won’t be afraid, which doesn’t work by the way. The problem is the church is naked and the nakedness should make us very afraid not of speaking but of fearing God.

        Today we basically have two groups of people waiting for the Master’s return and both are buck-naked, unashamed and unaware. The first group are those waiting for the rapture to take place. They are waiting for the church to be whisked away to heaven while the tribulation takes place and then return to earth to celebrate the kingdom of God while Jesus reigns on the earth for a thousand years. The problem is that scripture does not tell us this. Yes, you can piece a very few verses together to come up with this nonsense, but this is not what scripture as whole tell us. If the church was taken up, then that means God, Jesus who is the head of the church, the Holy Spirit and all the disciples that make up the church would be gone. Salvation is impossible and there is no second chance. The rapture is a doctrine of demons. 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.” Here is quote from a rapture believer. “If you’re riding in a car driven by a believer who suddenly disappears, that car very well could crash. If you’re on a plane flown by believers who suddenly disappear, that plane also could crash. Highly valuable and experienced military commanders and business leaders and medical professionals will disappear, perhaps in the middle of critical projects or medical procedures. The impact will be catastrophic.” The writer then goes on to describe the second chance people would be given. “Can such people fall on their knees the minute after the Rapture and receive Christ’s free gift of salvation for themselves? Absolutely, and they should. If they do, the Bible teaches that their sins will be instantly forgiven and their souls saved forever.” No, it doesn’t! If God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and all the disciples are gone, that would be hell. Yes this makes a good fictional story, which then becomes a movie. This then leaves you with people who believe this nonsense, people who are not sure and then people who don’t.

         The problem is that the people who don’t believe in the rapture as described by false teachers / prophets, the best seller list and Hollywood, are also waiting but not for the rapture as just described but for the Second Coming. No, they don’t believe the doctrine of demons called the rapture, but they do believe that Jesus will come again and take them to Beulah Land, the Promised Land or Heaven. Like those who believe in the rapture, they are waiting for the trumpet to sound so they can go home. Oddly both groups use this verse. 1 Corinthians 15:51 “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Yes, the trumpet will sound and we had better be ready when it does. Meanwhile those in this group are also naked and should be ashamed. They have been moved away from truth and do worship in vain as Paul also described. 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” They should be very afraid of God but they are not.  Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” There are two places prepared for us. One is eternal life and the other eternal damnation. Matthew 25:34 ““Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” So, while this second coming is right, as Jesus will return just as we are told, the church is wrong by not being dressed and prepared.

        We are not talking about actual clothing here but being clothed with righteousness. Ephesians 4:22 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Paul talks about heaven when he says, 2 Corinthians 5:1 “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” Here is the problem. We still need to be clothed in the present until that day comes. Paul also says Romans 13:11 “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Earlier was read that death has no sting which is what happens when we truly become a Christian. Jesus said John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” We know that this body will die but we do not need to fear death because Jesus conquered it. Paul said, “God has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come,” but here is another problem. If you have not been clothed with righteousness or have not put on the armor of light to stand against the devil’s schemes and are naked, you do not have this guarantee. You also do not have this guarantee if you have been deceived into thinking that you have already been clothed and like the emperor you are walking under the delusion of being dressed in beautiful clothes (Revelation 21:2 “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband,” yet remain naked.

        Before I go on, I think it is important to reiterate the three promised lands. The Garden of Eden could be included here, but that is really combined with the land Jesus gives us both now and later. Revelation 2:7 “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 22:14 ““Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” The first land is the Promised Land. After the fall, God gave Israel the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. There is also heaven where we will spend eternity with God but there is also the land of the New Covenant, the kingdom of God here on earth. Revelation 11:15 “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Luke 11:20 “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” This kingdom was already here which is why those believing the Kingdom of God is coming in the future have missed the mark, that is, what is plainly described in scripture. Jesus showed us the way in the Gospels and we saw the followers of the way go out in power. We also saw the church reject the way to go their own way, therefore God turned His face and the church became powerless. He allowed satan to throw truth to the ground and set up the abomination that causes desolation. The church then is in captivity and powerless to defeat him. Instead of repenting for rebellion, the church continued to parade it’s sin, naked and unashamed. Jeremiah when describing how Israel rejected God said, Jeremiah 2:13 “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. Jeremiah 3:2 “You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness. 3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and no spring rains have fallen. Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute; you refuse to blush with shame.” This refusal to blush while flaunting their nakedness is where the church is at today. Jeremiah goes on to say Jeremiah 3:12 “‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will frown on you no longer, for I am faithful,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will not be angry forever. 13 Only acknowledge your guilt— you have rebelled against the Lord your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me, declares the Lord.”

        So how are we to cover up our nakedness? As we just read, we must repent. We then must be prepared in our waiting, watching and not giving up even if the waiting takes time. We don’t decide the right time. Luke told us Luke 12:35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.” Luke goes on to say Luke 12:37 “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” 41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?” 42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” 2 Peter 3:3 “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

        At this point we are waiting for two things. The first is the return of Jesus Christ. Peter tells us 2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation.” The second is the empowerment of the church to go to the ends of the earth before the return of Jesus.

         Now if you are waiting, you had better be prepared and certain as to what you were waiting for. You do not want to be found naked. I thought this was an interesting article from October 21, 2021, titled “Every year, they hike to remember the day the rapture didn’t happen.” (If you look on Wikipedia, there is a huge list of false predictions.) The article starts with “Spoiler alert: The rapture didn’t happen on Oct. 22, 1844.” “But a lot of people sure thought it would. They were followers of a preacher and self-proclaimed prophet from Vermont named William Miller, and on the day that he predicted the second coming of Jesus Christ, they took to high ground so they could be ready for the Lord to take them away. Instead of angels reaching down from heaven to pluck believers from pine trees and granite mountaintops, nothing happened, and the day became known as the Great Disappointment.” Even after a previous failed prediction for the rapture, people desperate for a better life followed and were deceived just as people are being deceived today. “That year, some believers didn’t plant the crops they would need to survive the winter and some even sold their farms and houses, Gerry said. They took the harnesses off their animals and turned them loose. After all, who needed a farm, or a team of oxen, in heaven?” To show just how crazy this was, it was said that “In West Rockport, a deacon hiked up Pleasant Mountain and then climbed a pine tree, in order to be as high as possible. “He predicted the moment Jesus would come, and threw up his pocket watch and then jumped out of a pine tree to his death,” That seems crazy but from what I have heard people describe about the rapture makes this seem like common sense. The problem is that scripture tells us clearly no one knows the time. Mark 13:32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” This from the same passage were Jesus said 5 “Watch out that no one deceives you. 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.”

        Today people are still following these false prophets, but most are smart enough not to predict a time, they just use the word imminent. Even though Jesus is returning soon and we must be ready, the use of the word imminent is wrong because something that is never going to happen cannot be imminent. Each generation has only their own lifetime to get ready for the end. We do not know the date of our life being over, so we must be ready. It has been over two thousand years since Jesus walked the earth but you only have a few years to get it right. These false prophets and these false prophets are everywhere, get people to believe as they do, that they will be raptured straight into heaven, except it is not heaven they will be heading for. People by the millions have been deceived but it is not just the false doctrine of the rapture that the church has been deceived by. Millions have also been deceived by the actual second coming of Jesus. No, it is not the second coming of Jesus that is a lie, it is in the preparation that people have been deceived. Most people who call themselves Christians are simply just not prepared for Judgement Day as most have no idea what the bible actually says. They have gone to church all their lives believing what they have been taught without question. Someone said get baptized, pray a prayer, read a pamphlet, go to church and you are good to go, sealed for delivery. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.”

         Jesus warned us about this destruction the church continues to face. He said Matthew 24:15 “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. 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. Daniel also warned us, but the church did not listen and was deceived and deluded because of our rebellion against God.

        This second group who have been deceived is just as powerless as the first. This is how you know the church has been deceived; it looks nothing like Jesus and is powerless. You have all these people who call themselves Christians in captivity, in desolation, powerless against our enemies. They think they are dressed but are naked and unashamed. This is not how we are supposed to be. Jesus showed us the way and we were supposed to continue in that way. If we would have followed the truth, the church would have continued to look like Jesus and do as He did. By rejecting the truth and going our own way, we then have no power to defeat satan. The only way to defeat satan is to be properly clothed. Luke 24:46 “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 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.” This comes by believing and obeying. 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.”

        The hope we have is that this reign of destruction is coming to an end and the church will continue to go out in power and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Daniel told us this power over the church would come to an end. Daniel 7:21 “As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time. 26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’” 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. 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?” 14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.” Jesus said in 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.”

        The best decision you can make is to acknowledge that you have been raised in deception, as this desolation has been happening for a long time. Everyone has been infected in one way or another. You can be sure that what you believe is wrong if you have submitted to a certain distinctive or view of scripture. Since there is no power, that means everyone is wrong in one way or another. For every view there are many facets of that view and this keeps on happening as time moves on. The only way you can say you are on the right track is if you are waiting and praying for this desolation to come to an end. Then you can say that you are a follower of the way, the truth and the life as you stand firm on the word of God. I realize that most people do not want to acknowledge this fact, but we are told Hosea 4:6 “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” This destruction the church is facing is the tribulation and it is bound to get worse. No, the church doesn’t get a free pass as God’s people have never gotten a free pass for their disobedience. They pay a severe price for rebellion. This tribulation has the enemy defeating the church and only a few will survive just as Babylon decimated Israel and Judah. When Jesus was asked Matthew 24:3 “what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” He responded with do not be deceived! The church did not listen and deception is everywhere. Isaiah 59:15 “Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.” The tribulation that most in the church have been taught is something that happens in the future. The problem with that is most people are unaware that the tribulation is already happening so how can you repent if you don’t think you have to? How do you fight off your enemy if you have no power? But if you are taught what is actually going on, then you can stand firm till the end and not be deceived. You can plead with God to turn His face back to shining upon us. You can turn from you wicked ways and believe the power of God is available to all who would believe. Revelation 7:14 “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” By the way you would not be able to do that if the church (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Disciples) was not present.

         We are at war and the church is losing. We will continue to lose until God sees fit to turn His face back to us. Ezekiel 39:21 “I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay on them. 22 From that day forward the people of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them.25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

         If someone tells you God is love and would never do such a thing, don’t listen to them. God is who He says He is as stated in scripture. As of now there is no power, so how do you know who is telling the truth? Who do you listen too? You must test the spirits. satan is very arrogant and will tell you what the problem is if you listen. The bible tells us very clearly but most people add to or subtract from what the bible actually states. They do this so the bible fits with their doctrines. There is also a lot of in-between the lines teaching which is where all the books come in. There is a lot of talk but no power. It’s time to take a good look in the mirror and work out your salvation. If you are still alive, there is still hope. When we see our spiritual reflection, we should be ashamed when we see our nakedness. James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” This self-evaluation could be the difference between eternal life and eternal damnation. God is merciful as He said, Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” Obeying the distorted words of men and women about God is not the same as obeying God’s words. Ignoring God’s words do not make them any less true. You may not want to believe there is a hell but there is. You may not want to believe that God would allow destruction to come on the church, but it has. It is not what you believe to be true but whether or not you believe God’s word to be true. The message is very simple John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” The words of the bible are the words of Jesus, not just the red letters. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” You can’t pick and choose what words of Jesus you choose to believe. John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 6:68 “Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 8:51 “Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”

        Don’t be deceived thinking that you have fellowship because someone told you that if you come to our church, do and believe what we tell you, it will then be well with your soul. You have to be very careful with the words you receive and stake your life on. You do not want to hear depart from me all because you never tested the spirits. Our thoughts should be about being prepared for eternal life but the thought of going to hell should literally scare the hell out of you. I don’t like to think about it, but we should. The thought of spending eternity in a place without God is overwhelming. The thought of family, friends and others spending their eternal lives there is almost too much to think about, but we must. We have to be prepared, ready and dressed for service. We don’t want to go to hell, but we will if we do not obey. Those we love will go there too if they do not obey. Our only hope is to turn away from our wickedness and our naked and be clothed with power. The only way to be clothed with power is for God to turn His face back to us. The hold satan has on the church is coming to an end and we will once again do as Jesus did, but we must repent. The message is simple as we saw in John 3, but if we lie to ourselves and God, we will not have fellowship with Him. 1 John 1:1 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete. 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” Ezekiel 3:27 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious people.”

        Will you continue to parade your nakedness or will you be clothed with righteousness, joy and power? Luke 12:27 “Consider how the wildflowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” Isaiah 61:7 “Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. 10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.”

         The end is coming whether you are ready or not. Are you content with your shameful nakedness or are you getting dressed and prepared for service? God promised David there would always be a remnant, so we have hope even, in the midst of this desolation. Since there will always be a remnant, we know that God will turn His face towards us once again and empower His people to go to the ends of the earth and proclaiming His gospel. Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Don’t be caught off guard. Luke 12:39 “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Revelation 16:15 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”