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Sermon: “In Vain”June 27, 2021Have you ever spent a lot of time working on something only to find out in the end that it was in vain? You may have even bought parts and spent hours or even days working on a project. No, I am not talking about the vain you feel when your car looks fantastic after you spent hours detailing it and then wanting everyone to see it. That definition of vain means to have an excessively high opinion of oneself and your abilities. The vain I am talking about is when you work on something only to find out all your efforts where futile. That definition of vain means producing no results and all your effort turned out to be a waste of time.Today’s church seems to have both definitions taking place. First of all, how arrogant is it to think the church can operate with human hands without God’s help; that’s really vain. We see that Psalm 5:5 “The arrogant cannot stand in your presence.” Ezekiel said, Ezekiel 28:2 “In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” But you are a mere mortal and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god. 3 Are you wiser than Daniel? Is no secret hidden from you? 4 By your wisdom and understanding you have gained wealth for yourself and amassed gold and silver in your treasuries. 5 By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud.” Obadiah 2 “See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised. 3 The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’ 4 Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down, declares the Lord.” We also see that arrogance and stiff-necked are closely related. Nehemiah 9: 16 “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. 17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery.” There is a tremendous amount of vanity in the church today. Men and woman mishandle the word of God and arrogantly speak as if God is speaking through them. They basically make the bible say what they want it to say but Paul says, 2 Corinthians 4:2 “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” The arrogance of the church today is appalling. What is being done in the name of the Lord will only in the end see God’s wrath. Proverbs 16:5 “The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”Although much can be said about the vanity of the church, today our focus is on worshipping in vain. First of all picture if you will someone who has gone to church their whole life. From the moment of birth, they have been committed church goers, probably baptized or dedicated. At first they were taken by their parents and then the choice to continue was theirs and they dedicated their lives to promoting the church of choice and have completely sold out to the teachings, doctrines and theology of that particular church. Not only did they commit wholeheartedly, but they also influenced their families and friends and even strangers. Now the day comes and life as we know it is over and you die. There will then be a time of judgment. You will either hear well done or depart from me I don’t know you. I would say that most who attend church will say of course Jesus will say well done and they will believe they have nothing to worry about. But this is where the problem lies. Scripture has been distorted as teachers and preachers have led people astray and people love it this way. Jeremiah tells us 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?” In most cases the words people have staked their eternal life on are not the word of God but the distorted words of men about the word of God. The question is what will you do in the end? It really is worthwhile to answer this question. Jesus said, Matthew 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” For the most part most who call themselves Christians do not fear God enough to worry about hell, even though we are told 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.” The church today should be very fearful, yet most just want to get back to what they have always done instead of turning from their wicked ways.Most who call themselves Christians equate their Christianity with church attendance. Some feel a Christmas and Easter showing is good enough, others are committed to Sunday morning or Saturday evening if more convenient while others are there whenever the doors are open. (Obviously a pre-pandemic illustration) The more committed to the church of choice they are, the better the Christian they think they are. Most have adapted their lives to what the church they attend teaches them. Someone told them that when they were baptized, they are good to go, no matter what. Not true by the way and after you die is definitely not the time to find out you have been deceived. Baptism is just water if you don’t obey. Most have not tested the spirits to see if what is being taught is truth. Don’t test the spirits by asking the person teaching if they teach truth as obviously they will say yes and believe it with all their heart. Many have questioned what has been taught only to be told to not question authority. 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.” Most churches will direct you to their special book of beliefs aside from scripture, where many of those beliefs are doctrines of demons and manmade. Also many of those beliefs are not founded on what the bible actually says but based on what is not said. So let’s go back to our committed church goer. They think they are safe and secure, yet they did not heed Jesus’ warnings. Luke 21: 8 “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” So our church goer has found a church that makes them feel at home, they like the teacher and the teaching, as everyone seems to have a set of parameters for choosing a church. 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.” Biblical truth is not always at the top of the list. They then buy into what is being peddled, only to find out they have worshipped in vain when it is too late to do anything about it. Millions down through the generations will find this out. 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. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”When it comes to worshipping in vain, the Apostle Paul says it this way. 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.” Paul said to the Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus.” You don’t get to pick and choose what gospel you are saved by as there is only one true gospel, not versions of it. There is not a Baptist, Pentecostal or Catholic gospel to name a few. Psalm 127:1 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” There have been many who have built magnificent buildings and have sold millions of copies of their plans, yet God had a plan and does not need any help. In fact he says, Jeremiah 23:21 “I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord.” For an older example Rick Warren’s books, The Purpose Driven Church and Life have sold millions. One survey said, “American pastors and ministers voted The Purpose Driven Church as the second book most influential on their lives and ministries, behind The Purpose Driven Life” There has been many how-to books to make your church grow but power does not come from these books and ideas. Yes these men and women became powerful and influential but they are not clothed with power from on high. Many have tried to duplicate and had success while most have failed. You would think by all the books sales / conferences that the bible isn’t enough or that God actually forgot to include the plans for the church. These gurus think they are David and God gave them the plans He forgot for the New Testament church to be successful. Obviously I am being sarcastic as the plans for the church are right in front of us, yet because of arrogance and a refusal to follow God’s word, these plans have been rejected for man’s plans. As Paul said, 2 Corinthians 2:17 “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”The bible does not need any help. We are the ones who need help. We do not need a how-to manual; we need the power of the Holy Spirit. The churches these men and woman have created look nothing like the New Testament church. Sure they talk about Jesus but not the Jesus of the New Testament. They talk about the Holy Spirit but not the Spirit of Truth. The Jesus and spirit they talk about have no power. Here is what Jesus said about worshipping in vain. Mark 7:6 “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” I have seen services as I am sure you have as well where people are worshipping with everything they have. In the moment I am sure it felt truly amazing as some do worship really well. I was listening to a song recorded live and the worship leader was telling people to lift their voices so that God’s glory would fall. The thinking for many is if we can just enter into the right state of worship God will move. For some that will be silence while for others that will be loud music with maybe even some fog machines. God is not looking at what comes out of your mouth or how you dress. For some they dress up for God but God isn’t looking at your clothing brand. Honestly I am glad the whole suit thing became a thing of the past but even with casual attire, God is still looking at your heart. This is what God says about this. Isaiah 1:2 “Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” 4 Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. 5 Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah! 11 “The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?” says the Lord. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. 14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 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!” Amos 5: 21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. 22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. 23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.”So back to our church goer who is loving the worship team today and feels so close to God. They might even have their hands raised in praise, yet God is not listening. So why wouldn’t He be listening. Paul made it clear that if you don’t follow God’s word, you will worship in vain. Paul said we were to follow the gospel he taught. Paul also 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. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” The church has been doing this ever since. He also said 2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”Due to the church disobeying God’s word, the church has been blinded to the truth and cannot hear the word of God. Acts 28:25 “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet: 26 “‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” 27 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” Now the Gentiles have not listened and have turned away just as the Jews have and we are in a severe famine. 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.” Isaiah also said Isaiah 6:11 “Then I said, “For how long, Lord?” And he answered: “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, 12 until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. 13 And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.” The church has been laid waste but the good news is that God promised David there would always be a remnant so there is still hope in the midst of all this chaos called church but with only a remnant left. If the true gospel was being preached, we then would see His power validating His words. Hebrews 2:4 “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” We would see these gifts all in operation. 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, 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.” We would also see 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.”Most people do not want to know they worship in vain as that would mean they would have to repent and turn from their wicked ways. Our church goer has been going to church their whole life and to admit they have been deceived would be just too much to admit to. That arrogance will not lead to eternal life, so the only option is to repent. The good news is 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?” Sadly many will not listen. Jeremiah 19:15 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.” Hosea 11:2 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2 But the more they were called, the more they went away from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. 5 “Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent?” This refusal to repent means that they will not see the available kingdom of God on earth nor will they see eternal life. Jesus said Mark 1:15 “The time has come, the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” If we want the kingdom of God to come near, the church must repent. In order for us not to worship in vain, we must turn away from the vanity we have come to know as the church. As it stands now, church is futile but it doesn’t have to be.Due to God’s promise to David, we have hope even though we do not deserve it. We do not have to face eternal punishment, but we cannot continue to worship in vain or worship in our vanity. Peter tells us very clearly there will be false teachers among us. 2 Peter 2:1 “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.” Peter then describes the end and tells us to be ready. Both these chapters are important to read. 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. 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. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” As we wait on God to move in power once again, we have hope as we stand on His word. Isaiah 54:7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer.” Psalm 86:15 “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” The Lord is coming and we will all be accountable before Him. Joel 2:1 “Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand— 2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness.” Obadiah “15 “The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.” The church has become very comfortable in their apathy towards God. Man’s words have given a false sense of security in the church. People are excitedly awaiting for Jesus to return and take us home but there is no fear of God. You will be judged and if you have not followed the truth, you will spend eternity in hell. Again, after you die is not the time to get things right because you will not be able to even if someone told you that you could. In Luke we see a description of a rich man in Hades pleading to warn his family. Luke 16:27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Jesus rose from the dead and the church still doesn’t listen to His words even though everyone celebrates Easter.Today many in the church do not understand who God is. Jeremiah 4:22 ““My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.” Deuteronomy 32:15 “They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior. 16 They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols. 17 They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God— gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear. 18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 The Lord saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. 21 They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. I will make them envious by those who are not a people; I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding. 28 They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them. 29 If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be! 37 He will say: “Now where are their gods, the rock they took refuge in.” Hosea 4:14 “A people without understanding will come to ruin!” Romans 1:32 “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” The church turning away from God has brought desolation and destruction to the church yet most in the church continue on in the ways they were taught with no desire to turn from them. For those people who refuse to turn there is no hope unless they repent but for those who do turn God will keep His promise to David. 2 Chronicles 7:14 “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. 17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.” Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Hezekiah said in 2 Chronicles 30:6 “People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 9 If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” We have hope because of God’s compassion but we must turn back to Him. Hosea 14:1 “Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! 2 Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. 3 Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount warhorses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.” If the church does as we are commanded to do, Hosea 2:23 “I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.” If we do not Jeremiah 22:8 “People from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this great city?’ 9 And the answer will be: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and have worshiped and served other gods.” Hosea 12:6 “But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.”We have a choice, believe and obey or rebel and disobey. We can do as these did and not believe and have God’s wrath stored against us. Romans 2:5 “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.” John 12:37 “Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them. 41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.” Or we can believe and say Romans 8:31 “If God is for us, who can be against us? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Then as we obey we will see as Jesus said to Peter, Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”Don’t wait to find out you have been worshipping in vain. It is easy to find the answer as to whether you are or not. The direction today’s church has gone most likely means you are worshipping in vain. If you think the church you have been going to is okay without even checking you are in trouble. Most church goers are so indoctrinated they have no idea, nor do they want to know that they have been deceived. Ask yourself what doctrines and theology have you committed your life to? You would be amazed at how many people actually don’t believe there is power available today which is cessationism, a doctrine of demons. You may not say you believe in cessationism but you are not seeking the gifts as Paul tell us in 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” If the word of God is not being confirmed as we saw in Mark 16, then you must seek God. Don’t be fooled by those who say their words are being confirmed by giving you numbers and results. Don’t look at the building or the programs or even the eloquence of the pastor or teacher. The confirmation should look like the New Testament. Also don’t be fooled by signs and wonders that are a masquerade put on by satan. Since Jesus is living and is the head of the church, the church then should look like Jesus. What does that look like? The answer can be seen in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts. 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.” What you see in church today looks nothing like what you see in the Gospels. Therefore our only option is to repent and turn from our wicked ways. Don’t wait because you have no idea when your end will be or when Jesus will return. Seek and you will find!