The ROCK
Come as You Are / Be Transformed! 

 


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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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  •             When reading the introduction line in the Lord’s Prayer, you may think that God who is in heaven is an absentee father who really has no connection to His children. For many a distant father is all they know but God is not a distant father who is disconnected from His children as any distance is on the part of the children. Next week we will be looking at our Father who disciplines. Even though we see in the bible a comparison to earthly fathers, there really is no comparison to God our Father, as no father can give to their children as God can.
               The Lord’s prayer starts with Matthew 6:9 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” So, we see that the God of heaven is also the God of the earth. When Jesus asked Peter, Matthew 16:15 “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 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.” Deuteronomy 4:39 “Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.” Isaiah 45:18 “For this is what the Lord says— he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited— he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
               The absolutely amazing part of this prayer is that God is telling us to pray to Him, the creator of the heavens and earth. Deuteronomy 26:15 “Look down from heaven, your holy dwelling place, and bless your people Israel and the land you have given us as you promised on oath to our ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Similarly by praying the Lord’s prayer, we are asking God to dwell among us and bless us just as He said He would. The definition of dwell is “to remain for a time or to live as a resident.” This may be difficult to comprehend but it does not have to be incomprehensible. Unfortunately, man has made this to be very difficult to grasp by making this an intellectual endeavor. First let’s just get out of the way man’s desire to explain God; you can’t. Genesis starts with “In the beginning God…” We then see in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” You either believe in God by faith or you don’t. There is no sense debating as neither side can thoroughly explain the beginning of everything without faith. The bible explains creation but it is by faith as to whether or not you believe it and yes there is a lot in the bible that takes a great deal of faith. When talking about creation power, we are supposed to be able to see that creation power at work just as they saw when Jesus walked the earth. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” Yes faith is involved but the people saw the power. 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. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.”
                The problem is today we are not seeing that power due to the rebellion of the church, so man must explain away the emptiness with their own words instead of believing in the Word that created and the power that raised Jesus from the dead. Ephesians 1:19 “That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Instead of seeking the power once again through repentance by turning from our wicked ways, man intellectualizes everything and explains away the lack of power in the church which deceives people into believing the church is actually supposed to be powerless. With intellectualism so prevalent, now you get the impression that you must be a seminary grad to understand Christianity. You will see all kinds of doctrines from salvation, to the trinity, to eschatology and more and each will have differing views depending on the denominational distinctive you adhere to. Volumes about these doctrines have been written and courses studied. If God’s presence was solely based on man’s intellect, you would think by all the doctrines and talk about them that God would be dwelling very closely to us and the church would actually look like the church that scripture describes and power flowing but it is not. As Paul said there is a lot of talk but no power, so something is off. Paul also said it this way 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” When you approach the church with worldly intellect and views, you will be made to look foolish and you will not inherit eternal life.
                Not only do you have man’s intellect at work, but you also have the power of satan at work with doctrines 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. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” False teachers are everywhere and so are these doctrines. One of these doctrines that most have adapted to is cessationism. This is a doctrine of demons that is prevalent in the church today. You may not even know what cessationism (same power not available to the church today) is or say you are a continuationist (power available) but you are not seeking all the gifts and you don’t really believe that what Jesus did in the gospels is possible for today therefore you are a cessationist by default. Many who say they are not cessationists are content not seeing the power that is available to the church, so they really don’t believe. Most believe this false doctrine simply based on the fact that they do not seek as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” All the gifts are available because nowhere does the bible say they are not. 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. The thing about these doctrines of demons is that they are absurd. Scripture clearly states the facts and these doctrines just say they are not facts, so the word of God is denied. satan’s main task is to get you to turn away from God’s word by the way.
               Not only is there intellectualism (the exercise of the intellect at the expense of the emotions), there is also emotionalism. If the church service feels good, usually the music, then God must be present. Singing can be a very emotion filled experience. You will even hear songs repeated over and over almost like saying a mantra thinking that God likes that and will come near but He is not watching your lips move but looking into your heart. So you can dance around and sing with everything you have yet God is not dwelling among you. He said 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.” I am pretty sure there were talented me then also. Isaiah 1:12 “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.” Even David worshipped with everything he had and it was still wrong. 1 Chronicles 13:7 “They moved the ark of God from Abinadab’s house on a new cart, with Uzzah and Ahio guiding it. 8 David and all the Israelites were celebrating with all their might before God, with songs and with harps, lyres, timbrels, cymbals and trumpets. 9 When they came to the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark, because the oxen stumbled. 10 The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God.” He died because they did it wrong. 1 Chronicles 15:13 “It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the Lord our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.” So if you are worshipping God wrong, it really doesn’t matter how great your worship team is. Notice that when David did follow God’s way it wasn’t God who was angry but someone watching him. 29 As the ark of the covenant of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart.”
               You could even go the way of monasticism (is a way of living that's religious, isolated from other people, and self-disciplined) and still be wrong. You could quietly study without emotion and still miss the way as so many have. When we follow God’s way and wholeheartedly obeying His words, God has promised to dwell among us. Again, this is the amazing part. This is good news for the remnant who are seeking during these desperate times of desolation. God said Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.” Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” So obviously if you are not seeking God you will not find Him. This is pretty simple. God said seek Me and you will find Me but you must be seeking the true God not the one man has contrived. 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.” God even said 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. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.” Deuteronomy 11:13 “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.”
               When Jesus came, God dwelt among us. This is how it was supposed to be and continue to be. Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).” Matthew 1:20 “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Luke 1:30 “But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 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.”
               We learn what God dwelling among us looks like in the Old Testament but in the old God dwelt in the tabernacle and then the temple. Exodus 15:7 “You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance— the place, Lord, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established. 18 “The Lord reigns for ever and ever.” Exodus 29:44 “So I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. 45 Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. 46 They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.” David has it in his heart to build a temple for his God. 1 Chronicles 22:6 “Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. 7 David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God. 8 But this word of the Lord came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. 9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.” Solomon then built the temple. 1 Kings 8:12 “Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; 13 I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.” Solomon prayed 2 Chronicles 6:14 “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 15 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today. 16 “Now, Lord, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me according to my law, as you have done.’ 17 And now, Lord, the God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David come true. 18 “But will God really dwell on earth with humans? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 19 Yet, Lord my God, give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence. 20 May your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which you said you would put your Name there. May you hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. 21 Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.”
               So we see that God would dwell in the temple but there was a warning. 2 Chronicles 7:12 “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. 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. 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.’ 19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’” The church has not heeded this warning and went off and followed other gospels.
               Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 show us what it means to have God dwelling with us and what it looks like when God has turned His face from us due to our disobedience. We are told what happens when God dwells among us and no one can give you this other than God. Leviticus 26:1 “‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God. 2 “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord. 3 “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. 5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land. 6 “‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. 7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you. 9 “‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11 I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.” We are also told what happens when we don’t obey just like in 2 Chronicles 7. Leviticus 26:14 “‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you. 18 “‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over. 19 I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. 20 Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of your land yield their fruit.” You can keep reading to see more of these curses. Deuteronomy 28:1 “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God.” 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.”
               It is clear what God’s dwelling among us looks like and very clear as to how we are to live if we want God to dwell among us. The confusion comes because we do not see it. We see in the Old Testament the power, protection and blessing that came when God dwelt among His people. We also saw from the beginning of time what happens when we rebel against God and disobey. We lost the Garden of Eden and the Promised Land due to disobedience and rebellion against God’s word but God is merciful and sent His Son to save us from our sins even though we do not deserve God’s amazing grace. Psalm 103:6 “The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.” The Gospels and Acts show us what God dwelling among us looks like and how the church was supposed to be a continual Pentecost not a one-time event as so many teach. Just like in the Old Testament power protection and blessing was available to the church just as Jesus showed us but due to the same rebellious spirit we saw in the garden and the promised land, we too have had God turn His face from us. This should not be a surprise as God warned us this would happen.
               We were supposed to learn from scripture and let the Holy Spirit guide us, but instead the church decided man’s way was better and rejected God’s word. There is a complete lack of awareness in the church that the church has fallen to our enemies just as we were warned it would. Following man’s intellect is how we got into this mess. Scripture is clear; obey and God will dwell among us. Disobey and God will turn His face from us which allows our enemies to prevail against us and leave us in desolation as we are now. Scripture is how we become knowledgeable, yet God tells us His people perish due to lack of knowledge. How can this be since we have God’s word? The answer is simple. Even though Jesus warned us not to be deceived the church has listened to the false prophets instead of the word of God. For example we have doctrines about the end-times but there is so much confusion because there is many differing views yet there is only one truth. John 16:12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” Because of our rebellion God has turned His face from us, hence all the confusion as truth is nowhere to be found. As Daniel said truth has been thrown down.
               The only way for God to dwell among us again and turn His face to shine on us is for His people to turn from their wicked ways. 1 Kings 8:23 “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.” We saw in the Old Testament how God dwelt among the people Exodus 25:8 “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. 44 “So I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. 45 Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. 46 They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.” Leviticus 26:11 “I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you.” In the New Testament everything changed. Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.” You wouldn’t know it with all the cathedrals and massive churches there are and how much money is spent on these structures. Way back Moses said Numbers 11:29 “I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” When Jesus appointed His disciples and anointed them, this was a preview of Pentecost. When Pentecost came what Moses said was fulfilled. We also saw Joel fulfilled as Peter said Acts 2:14 “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel." Joel 2:28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 32 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.” As we have seen God has made fools of those like John Hagee still looking for blood moons.
                God would now dwell among His people and not in a building. 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” We saw the power in the Old Testament when God dwelt among His people. Joshua was told Joshua 1:2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.” We also saw what happened when the people disobeyed. Nehemiah 9:29 “You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’ Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. 30 For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples. 31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. 36 But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our ancestors so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces. 37 Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.” The problem is the church does not know enough to be in distress but should be as the same thing has happened to the church.
                Jesus showed us what Immanuel - God with us looks like. It is not just a Christmas song. Immanuel did come but the church rejected His word, so we lost the available power. The Gospels and Acts clearly show us what God dwelling among us looks like. The church today clearly shows us what God turning His face from us looks like as the church today looks nothing like the Gospels or Acts. This is God dwelling among us. 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.” We then saw in Acts how this same power was to continue. 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 8:5 “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.”
                Jesus said John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. 15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” When the church returns to the Father, truth will also return and then once again the church will look like it was supposed to be and do as Jesus did. John 14:2 “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.”
                The reason so many Christians are confused and have no idea who they are in Christ is because they are not in Christ. What most have been taught looks nothing like scripture. Christ means anointed one. Most Christians just go to church and have no idea what it means to have God dwell in us. If the church actually looked like the church Jesus started and the power from on High flowed among us, it would not be so confusing and all the intellectualists would feel like fools and all the people who have based their Christianity on their emotions will be ashamed. When the church once again can say Matthew 11:5 “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me,” then we can call ourselves the church. God will give you understanding and open your eyes and ears to the fullness of His word if people who call themselves Christians would spend time in God’s word and actually believe what it says. You do not want to commit your life to the words of men and women wo say they speak for God yet they distort God’s word with their own teaching. God says Jeremiah 14:14 “Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” These prophets are everywhere and the church no longer has the power that was intended to destroy the work of the devil. We were supposed to continue in the work. Instead, 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.” Daniel 8:23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.” Daniel 9:27 “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 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.”
                Don’t be deceived by those who say pray a little prayer, come to our church and you will be saved and you will be secure no matter what. Jesus is the only one who can do that. Yes you can pray but you must repent and turn from the ways of man which is wickedness. That means you will probably turn away from most churches. The only way you will be secure is if the church is actually the true church of Jesus Christ which at this point in time is not. All you have to do is check and se which man they are following. The true church will follow God’s word and when you do, our Father in heaven will dwell among us and the world will know that God dwells among us as His presence will be heard and seen. Isaiah 29:22 “Therefore this is what the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, says to the descendants of Jacob: “No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale. 23 When they see among them their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24 Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction.” Pray that God will open your eyes and ears to the power available in His word. Know that God wants you to seek Him and know that you will find Him and He our father will dwell with you. So when you prayer our Father in heaven, know that He will dwell in you on earth and make His home among you. Is it complicated; not really as just as we saw at the temple, the temple was filled with God’s glory and all confusion will pass. At Pentecost just like the temple, God’s glory fell on the people. So, as you pray, wait just as the disciples were told. 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 2:4 “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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.”
               We have hope because God has called us to pray to our Father in heaven and He will hear our cry if we return to Him. Zechariah 2:10 “Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord. 11 “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.” Ezekiel 39:25 “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.”