The ROCK
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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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  • Oct30Sun

    Sermon: Peter the Rock

    October 30, 2022

       Humans seem to have a built-in desire to worship other humans. The worship of man covers a broad spectrum from musicians, sports figures, intellectuals, artists and leaders to name a few. Humans also worship objects, natural and man-made. Everyone worships someone or something whether it is an actual idol or something that had been made into an idol. When someone says there is no God, they are worshipping themselves as gods. You even have those who worship the sun, moon and stars. Romans 1:25 “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” The bible warns against this. Deuteronomy 4:15 “You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, 16 so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, 18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. 19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.” Even Israel made idols. Acts 7:39 “But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. 40 They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’ 41 That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made. 42 But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars.” A while back it was said that they discovered the God particle, the building block of the universe but that begs the question who built the blocks. You also have the attempt at a theory of everything that tries to explain everything. Instead of giving glory to the creator of the universe and looking to God for answers, they continue to refuse the existence of God. 

        Man seems to eagerly refute and refuse to worship the one true God, the creator of the universe. The belief in the God of the bible is on a downhill slope. One person said the enlightenment slogan was “Who needs God? Man can make it on his own.” Nothing much has changed since then. I don’t know where this came from, but I like it. “A scientist told God, “We no longer need you. We have advanced to the point that we can create anything we need with our own ingenuity.” God said, “You want to put that to a test?” The scientist said, “Sure. What do you have in mind?” God said, “Let’s each make a man, just like I did with Adam. I’ll go first.” Then God created man from the dirt. The scientist leaned down to pick up a handful of dirt, so he could replicate the work of God. “Wait a minute!” said God. “Go get your own dirt!” The bible begins with these words. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” God just spoke at it was. 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. 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.” Not only did God create the universe, “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Zechariah 12:1 “The word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: 2 “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling.” Isaiah said Isaiah 43:1 “But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel. 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. 11 I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. 12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God. 13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?” Daniel 4:1 “King Nebuchadnezzar, To the nations and peoples of every language, who live in all the earth: May you prosper greatly! 2 It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. 3 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” King Darius wrote Daniel 6:25 “to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth: May you prosper greatly! 26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. 27 He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

        God makes it clear that He is God and there is no other. This is true whether you believe it or not. 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.” Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.” 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.” Matthew 4:10 “Jesus said to him, “Away from me, satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” satan tries continuously to get you to worship someone or something other than God but don’t fall for his lies. Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. John 4:23 “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”

        We are called to worship God, but people refuse. Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” This describes the church today. Judges 2:10 “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.” Sadly the distress part doesn’t describe the church today but the church should be in distress. Jeremiah 13:10 “These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt (Jeremiah had buried a belt)—completely useless!” Ezekiel 5:6 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. 6 Yet in her wickedness she has rebelled against my laws and decrees more than the nations and countries around her. She has rejected my laws and has not followed my decrees. 7 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You have been more unruly than the nations around you and have not followed my decrees or kept my laws. You have not even conformed to the standards of the nations around you.” The church has followed in their footsteps.    

        Not only does the world refuse to worship God, the church, like Israel refuses to humble themselves before God. Daniel 4:37 “those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” Like Israel, the church is also in ruins. Ezekiel 15:8 “I will make the land desolate because they have been unfaithful, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Ezekiel 33:28 “I will make the land a desolate waste, and her proud strength will come to an end, and the mountains of Israel will become desolate so that no one will cross them. 29 Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land a desolate waste because of all the detestable things they have done.” Jeremiah 44:2 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins 3 because of the evil they have done. They aroused my anger by burning incense to and worshiping other gods that neither they nor you nor your ancestors ever knew. 4 Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!’ 5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods. 6 Therefore, my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruins they are today. 9 Have you forgotten the wickedness committed by your ancestors and by the kings and queens of Judah and the wickedness committed by you and your wives in the land of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem? 10 To this day they have not humbled themselves or shown reverence, nor have they followed my law and the decrees I set before you and your ancestors.” 2 Chronicles 7:21 “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.’” Jeremiah 2:11 “My people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. 12 Be appalled at this, you heavens, and shudder with great horror,” declares the Lord. 13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. 20 “Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, ‘I will not serve you!’” Daniel 8:13 “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?” Daniel 9:27 “And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” 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.” Luke 13:34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

        So, as we can see, the church has rebelled by not worshipping God and God alone and is in desolation; just look at the churches around you. Even though we were told Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.” Deuteronomy 28:14 “Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.” The church has not listened and rebelled against God’s word by following other gospels / gods. Paul said Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 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!” (Read Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 to see what blessings and curses look like) We were warned Deuteronomy 8:19 “If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.” In doing so God has allowed this to happen. 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.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

        Following other gods means rejecting God. That means God will be replaced with something or someone to worship. It could be something made or man himself. Following other gospels means the same. People will follow after man and what they have made, instead of God. Paul warned us as did Jesus when he said Acts 20:29 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” 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 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.” If you are not following God, you are following satan. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “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.” 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.” That has already happened.

        As we saw earlier, man will worship something. I always liked this saying, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” If you try to fill it (you will try) will anything other than Jesus Christ, you will have other gods before God. The tendency is to follow man. I learned that lesson early on as God made it clear to me to follow His word alone and not man. We will see later how sola scriptura in the reformation did not mean that they actually followed God’s word but followed man’s words about God. I started to read the bible and the bible became my source of life. John 6:35 “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:68 “Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 8:31 “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” I saw a statistic that showed “among self-described Christians, a full 20 percent believe in a higher power but don’t believe in the God described in the Bible. That number goes up to 26 percent for mainline Protestants and 28 percent for Catholics.” As we continue please understand that in the world we live in today Christian doesn’t always mean Christian, church doesn’t always mean church and Christianity is not the same as religious.

        Today we are going to look at how following man instead of God has led the church into desolation. This happened almost immediately in the church. Today we are going to look at how the church digresses after the early church. We will start with Peter. Matthew 16:13 “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “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.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.” Jesus shows us in the Gospels what the keys to the kingdom would entail. Those keys were then given to the church in Acts. Sadly, due to rebellion, the church had to turn over the keys and has been locked out. The keys the church thinks they have are to a wide gate and not the narrow door. Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”

        After the early church as we saw in Acts, the church almost immediately went off the rails. When it comes to Peter, the Catholic church has based their authority on Peter. One person said “The Catholic Church considers itself to be a pre-denominational church. That is, it considers itself to belong to no domination since it precedes all other denominations. Within this denomination, there are approximately 1,285,000,000 people.” One article said “we have shown that the Fathers recognized Peter as the rock on which Jesus declared he would build his Church; that this gave Peter a special primacy; and that Peter traveled to Rome, where he was martyred. In this tract we will show that the Fathers also recognized that the bishop of Rome—the pope—continued to serve in Peter’s role in subsequent generations of the Church.” They do believe they are the church because of the Chair of Peter. There is a physical chair and a spiritual. “Celebrating the “Chair” of Peter, therefore, as we are doing today, means attributing a strong spiritual significance to it and recognizing it as a privileged sign of the love of God, the eternal Good Shepherd, who wanted to gather his whole Church and lead her on the path of salvation.” They believe in Apostolic succession. “The Roman Pontiffs come immediately after (Peter), occupy the position, and perform the functions of St. Peter; they are, therefore, his successors.” At least that is what they want you to believe but not true. Remember because of disobedience and rebellion against God’s word, truth is thrown down. 

        Now obviously there is a lot more to it but by reading Peter’s confession above, you can easily see that Jesus was not referring to Peter as the Rock, but the rock was his confession that Jesus was the Messiah the Son of the living God. That profession is what he would build His church on. Yes, after Pentecost Peter would become a rock but that has nothing to do with the papacy (the office or authority of the Pope). The whole story about Peter in Rome and dying a martyr’s death is tradition that presupposes their teaching. Jesus said, Matthew 15:6 “you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. Mark 7:8 “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” 9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!” Again, you just have to read what Jesus actually said to Peter. After Jesus rose from the dead, John 21:17 “Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” The tradition says Peter was crucified upside down but again scripture states otherwise. These traditions are simply to confirm that the Catholic church is actually the true church but not truth. 

        Instead the traditions actually show that the catholic church is not the true church and shows they veered off course right from the beginning. Mark 6:6 “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.” Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” They did not remain true to the gospel. 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 did not hold to the gospel. Although the Catholic church is powerful and millions follow their path, they were immediately offtrack just like Paul said in Galatians. They are also keyless. They do not have the keys to the kingdom, therefore they do not have the power Jesus intended for the church. Without those keys, the church is not being built even though cathedrals are strewn across the land along with property. There is great wealth, but they live in poverty because of their beliefs. Revelation 3:17 “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” Instead of standing against the gates of hell, hades is prevailing. You just have to look at what the Catholic church looks like today and down through history. It was supposed to be this. Zechariah 4:6 “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”  Instead, they built with their own hands even though we are told 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.” Moses said Deuteronomy 31:29 “For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.” Galatians 3:1 “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

        By missing what the rock really stood for, they went astray and in doing so have led millions astray. Isaiah 9:16 “Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray.” Matthew 15:14 “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” Instead of building with the power from on High and doing as Jesus did, they built with their own hands and have been defeated. They completely distorted scripture and followed a man instead of God’s word and that has continued to this day. Instead of following Jesus, God’s word has been set aside for traditions, reasoning and experience. “In the Second Vatican Council’s document on divine revelation, Dei Verbum (Latin: “The Word of God”), the relationship between Tradition and Scripture is explained: “Hence there exists a close connection and communication between sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit. To the successors of the apostles, sacred Tradition hands on in its full purity God’s word, which was entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. “Thus, by the light of the Spirit of truth, these successors can in their preaching preserve this word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known. Consequently it is not from sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same devotion and reverence.” Since they veered off with their distortion of the text about Peter, this statement is also false. The word of God is above tradition, reason and experience. Jesus showed us the way and the Catholic church looks nothing like that way as they are void of power. In contrast, Jesus called His disciples and then sent them out in power and authority. Matthew 10:6 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.” Throughout the ages the catholic church has been a disaster. You can look up the corruption and sins of the Catholic church from the crusades to sexual immorality. Another verse they messed up on was when Paul said 1 Corinthians 7:2 “Since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.”

        The church was supposed to go out and do as Jesus did. 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Paul was sent to Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Disciples were sent out in power from on high. 1 Corinthians 1:17 “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” 1 Corinthians 2:4 “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 4:18 “Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” Acts 19:11 “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.”

        When you look at Peter, he was a different man after Pentecost. Before Pentecost he was the first to speak up, the first to walk on water, the first to draw his sword. You have to hand it to Peter; he had a lot of eagerness. When Jesus was taken away, he followed. When Jesus had said “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” 34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.” He also slept at the wrong time. Jesus said 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” After they came to take Jesus away, “Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.” Now of course Peter wanted to be there but then he was spotted and his denial happened “and he went outside and wept bitterly.” Even after Jesus reinstates Peter, he was still worried about the other guy.

             The power Jesus had given His disciples was a prelude to Pentecost. At that time the power would fall on the whole church, not just the disciples. Before Jesus was crucified, Jesus sent Peter and John to make preparation to eat the Passover. Jesus said Luke 22:15 “And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” After He rose from the dead Luke 24:41 “He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.” Jesus then said Luke 24:45 “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “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.” The good news about Peter was He did not mess up this time and waited as he was told to do. He also ate in the kingdom of God. This passage shows the presence of the kingdom of God. Acts 10:39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” Acts 1:4 “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.” 8 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.” Peter and the others obeyed. Acts 1:12 “Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” The obedience to God’s word changes everything. 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.”

        What followed was supposed to turn the world upside down and it did for a while. Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Now notice it was Peter that stood up and preached. This was not the same man he was before Pentecost. This is the part the catholic church missed as do most protestant churches. Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call. 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.” Then Peter and John healed the man who was lame. Then Peter and John stood fearlessly before their accusers. Jesus had said Matthew 10:19 “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Acts 4:8 “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” 13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Being with Jesus also changes everything. Acts 4:8 “Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

        The problem for the Catholic church is that there is no apostolic succession because there is no power. In the same passage that Peter makes his proclamation, Jesus said 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.” Jesus is the one who builds His church, not man. Man cannot build His church especially when they do not follow His words. By misinterpreting scripture, they missed out on the power of the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Now comes a problem just as big as the Catholic church, the Reformation. The Catholic church definitely needed to be reformed and still does, no doubt about it, but the problem was the Reformation did not go back to Jesus but instead just instituted another seat like the seat of Peter except with different names. We see reformation in scripture but that is not what happened  in the 1500’s. King Asa was told 2 Chronicles 15:1 “The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them.” King Josiah 2 Chronicles 34:3 “In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles and idols.” When they were repairing the temple, they found the book of the law and read it. 2 Kings 22:13 “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” 2 Kings 22:25 “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.”

        Jeremiah also talked about reform. Jeremiah 7:1 “This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message: “‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord. 3 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. 4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!” 5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, 6 if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. 8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.” Today many Christians are saying this is the church , this the church. Jeremiah 18:11 “Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’ 12 But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.’” Jeremiah 26:13 “Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you.” Jeremiah 35:15 “Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, “Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.” But you have not paid attention or listened to me.”

        Instead of following the word of God, once again man was idolized, and his ways were followed. They decided to continue with their own plans and follow the stubbornness of their hearts. They stood against the catholic church and started their own ways. The seat of Peter became the seat of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli to name just a few and names would be added to the list as time went on. The reformers basically just expanded what the Catholic church was doing. Instead of returning to the word of God, they each made their own ways while disagreeing with each other. One person wrote this flawed statement “The Protestant Reformation stands as the most far-reaching, world-changing display of God’s grace since the birth and early expansion of the church. It was not a single act, nor was it led by one man. This history-altering movement played out on different stages over many decades. Its cumulative impact, however, was enormous. Philip Schaff, a noted church historian, writes: “The Reformation of the sixteenth century is, next to the introduction of Christianity, the greatest event in history. It marks the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of modern times. Starting from religion, it gave, directly or indirectly, a mighty impulse to every forward movement, and made Protestantism the chief propelling force in the history of modern civilization. The Reformation was, at its heart, a recovery of the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and this restoration had an unparalleled influence on churches, nations, and the flow of Western civilization.” I am sorry but that is ridiculous. That is not true at all because if it was truly a recovery of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the church would not look at all like what we see today. Instead, the church would be of one mind, working together in the power and authority of Jesus Christ and doing as Jesus did. Ephesians 4:4 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Paul said, 1 Corinthians 1:10 “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 1 Corinthians 3:1 “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?” 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

        The church still does not have the keys to the kingdom and is still being defeated by satan. Instead of prevailing, the church stands desolate with the abomination that causes desolation decimating her. The desolate church is in darkness due to rebellion. 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?” Since God has turned His face from us, we do not have the power that changed Peter from man to fearless apostle. By distorting what scripture actually said, the church veered off track and has been off track ever since. The Reformation unlike the quote above continued down a path that led to death instead of life. As Peter said each generation had and has a chance to turn from their wicked ways but now as has been the case for thousands of years, the church continues going their own way. With each generation, more and more seats are added to the list of men and women who continue to take the church down the wrong path. We were told 1 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. 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.’” 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.’”

        Each generation is called to repent so that the kingdom will come near. Peter said Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” We still live in a corrupt generation so repent. The good news is that God said Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” In all this chaos called the church, there is hope because God gave David a promise that there would always be a remnant. Jeremiah 33:11 “Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; his love endures forever.” For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the Lord. 17 For this is what the Lord says: ‘David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, 18 nor will the Levitical priests ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.’” 19 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 20 “This is what the Lord says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21 then my covenant with David my servant—and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me—can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. 22 I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.’” You may have noticed that day and night still come at their appointed time. 

        As we saw with Israel and Judah, even the remnant went into captivity but eventually came out as Jeremiah prophesied. Daniel came before God and repented. Daniel 1:2 “I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. 17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

        God will turn His face back to the church as He promised, and the enemy will be destroyed. Daniel 7:26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever.” 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.” When God’s people repent, He will turn His face back to us and the kingdom will come near once again. Once again the work of satan will be defeated. 1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” King Hezekiah said this. 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.” 

        If you want to see true reformation, there must be true repentance and a return to God’s word not matter what your tradition, experience and reason say. When we do Isaiah 42:5 “This is what God the Lord says—the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: 6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. 8 “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.” Isaiah 43:4 “But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. 11 I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. 12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God. 13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”

        When there is true repentance, the kingdom of God comes near. When the kingdom of God comes near, there is power from on High and the church will look like this once again. Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” Matthew 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.” Mark 6:6 “Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” 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.” When the church returns to God’s word and stops elevating man and worshipping their words, power will flow once again. Psalm 146:1 “Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. 2 I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. 5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. 6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever.” Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. 

        In my journey I was part of the Wesleyan church.  Not every church is as blatant as to place the man’s name they worship front and centre. While in the Free Methodist church at the beginning of my journey, the Seminary I went to, as I have said before, even built (idols) statues of the men they idolized. While not everyone will do that, there will be a name like Calvin or Luther or Darby, Palmer, McPherson and more modern names Graham, Warren, MacArthur, Stanley and Hybels, Osteens and on and on that list could go. The church today still wants to worship men and women instead of putting God’s word first. Yes, everyone says they only bow before Jesus Christ but if that were true, the church today would look like scripture and it doesn’t. The only seat that should be focused on is the throne of God. Revelation 20:11 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 21:5 “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new! 6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”

        In order for there to be true change, the church must stop bowing to the work of their hands. Deuteronomy 31:29 “For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.” Isaiah 2:7 “Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. 8 Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made.” 2 Kings 22:17 “Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.” Jeremiah 25:7 “But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have aroused my anger with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.” Jeremiah 32:30 “The people of Israel and Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth; indeed, the people of Israel have done nothing but arouse my anger with what their hands have made, declares the Lord.” The church has aroused God’s anger by what their hands have made so the church must repent and say, Hosea 14:3 “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.” Isaiah 17:7 “In that day people will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. 8 They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands.”

        If the church turns from wicked ways, power will flow once again. Signs, wonders and miracles have not ceased as many teach. God has turned His face from us due to our rebellion. If the church returns, so do signs, wonders and miracles. There is apostolic succession but not the way the Catholics look teach. If the church was actually following the rock they would make a true confession of faith. Jesus said John 18:36 “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Paul said to Timothy 1 Timothy 6:11 “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.” When we follow the truth of God’s word, then like Peter the church would become an immovable rock. Zechariah 12:3 “On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. 4 On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. 5 Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’ 8 On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them. 9 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.” We will say 1 Corinthians 15:55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” On that day Zechariah 14:9 “The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. One that day once again will be 1 Corinthians 12:4 “different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 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.” False teachers and prophets will be made known, and the true servants of God will arise. Malachi 2:5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin. 7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. 8 But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” Jude 1:13 “They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.” 

        Isaiah 30:20 “Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.” This is how it will be once again Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:28 “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.” That will be the true succession. 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.” 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.”

        During the Reformation they proclaimed they were sola scriptura which means by scripture alone. Basically, no church does that as they all have their distinct beliefs with someone’s name on it other than Jesus. Most have all added to God’s word and subtracted from God’s word even though Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” In doing so the church has paid an enormous price and for many that price is eternal damnation. Matthew 25:41 “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” They will have died without ever knowing the truth. They actually had five solas. “The five solas state that Christians are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed by Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone.” But to those solas you would have to add sola tradition, sola reason and sola experience, so no it is not sola scriptura because if it was it would be like Josiah 2 Kings 22:11 “When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.” He then did everything he was supposed to do. 

        The church through the generations did not return to the word of God but continued on their own path. King Hezekiah said to the Levites, 2 Chronicles 29:6 “Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. 7 They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, the anger of the Lord has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. 9 This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity. 10 Now I intend to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense.” Malachi said Malachi 1:10 “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.” Ezekiel 18:30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!”

        There is only one choice today and that is to repent and live. Malachi says Malachi 1:6 “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty. I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” King Nebuchadnezzar finally admitted Daniel 4:3 “How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation. I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing.He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” 36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom” The lost son came to the same conclusion Luke 15:17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.” Job said Job 42:5 “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Will you continue down the path that leads to death or life. Joshua 24:14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” It was only after Pentecost that Peter became a rock.