When it comes to the gospel most will be astonished to find out that what we see now as the gospel is not even close to the truth. Yes we proclaim the birth of Jesus at Christmas and His death and resurrection at Easter but then what. Where is the power of the kingdom that is available to all who believe? Today we see around us much falseness. Just watch the news and you will see how hard it is to find the truth these days. The church on the other hand should be different and provide a sanctuary of truth but it is even worse than the secular world. Deep inside most want the truth but what they have seen in the church isn’t even close to what they are looking for so they reject the manmade but also reject the word of God in the process because of what they see. Yes there are still some looking for it but for the most part, most are apathetic to the desolate situation we find ourselves in. Yes you can bury your head in the sand and pretend there is nothing wrong in the church or you can repent. For the most part most have chosen the lukewarm route because it does not really offend anyone. What they do not realize is the lifestyle of the so-called lukewarm Christian offends God to the point of Him spewing you out of His mouth. The only way to get back on track is to turn from our wicked ways. Wicked ways means going in our own directions and deciding for ourselves what truth is and living our lives for ourselves.
Today I want to look at the rejection of the true King because he was not what they expected. They had something completely different in mind. The problem for them is that God also had something different in mind. The new covenant would not be the same nor would the kingdom be the same. It would now also include the gentiles. Instead of military warfare it now was spiritual warfare. Paul said in Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” This is the war we are in. You can also see the differences with the fulfillment of some of the prophecies. For example Joel was fulfilled when Jesus came. Peter said, Acts 2:6 “No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel.” But false prophets like Hagee make millions off of some manmade theory about blood moons and even though proved wrong continues to teach falseness. When Jesus said Matthew 11:14 “And if you are willing to accept it, he (John the Baptist) is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” This messes up the so- called great theologians. Well lets just say there are a lot of people who are deaf. John tells us John 1:4 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” When we reject the truth of the word, we reject the King and His kingdom. When we listen to the nonsense of the these false prophets that have infiltrated the church we then reject the way the truth and the life and go our own way. Somewhere along the line the church like the Jews have rejected the King of the Jews and do not serve him wholeheartedly because they do not adhere to the whole counsel of the word of God. We sang earlier that we would not bow to another king but most in the church have already bowed to the king of false gospels other than Jesus Christ because who they have followed is not King Jesus but satan himself. This will lead to eternal damnation. The baby that came did not come to be coddled. He did not come to stay a baby and be worshipped in the manger but He is a great King. Mary knew but do we know that we serve a great king. Malachi 1:14 “For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” We are not waiting to be deceived, we have been deceived. It is time to wake up and turn from our wicked ways. Millions are dying without the truth while attending church. Romans 13:11 “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
Just like Jesus was rejected, we too will be rejected by those who reject the truth. Isaiah 30:9 “For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction. 10 They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. 11 Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” 12 Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, 13 this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. 14 It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern.” 15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” The church as we know it today is offended when confronted with the Holy One of Israel.
When a person is called into ministry, your life is not your own just as it is not your own when you become a Christian. We serve at the pleasure of the King with great responsibility. James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” The bottom line is we had better be teaching truth. My own call to ministry was a celebration by friends and family until the message was not what was expected. Yes going into ministry when I said I would never do that was an honorable thing to do. But when the message came, it was not accepted. I think it could be best described as “who do you think you are.” The circle that supported us off to seminary over the years dwindled and dwindled till they were gone. The message is still the same except clearer and louder and more urgent, and I would probably say more offensive but in a good way. Yes I say the same thing over and over. People have said I am angry, I should not speak against the church or say anything bad about it, I’m leading people astray etc. Says who by the way. As I always say show me otherwise in scripture. As a minister of the gospel we preach the word of the Lord. But this is what happens when we stand on the word of God and preach his word, the same word Jesus preached. Jesus said, Matthew 15:7 “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” 10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” 12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” We should not be surprised at this reaction because the church is still reacting to this and still offended. Jesus said, “ Matthew 10:22 “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!” If you read Matthew 10 you will see very clearly the offense of the gospel to those around you.
To be honest the gospel is not at all what I thought it was. I have always asked questions but did not seem to get the answers until the word of God became my life. This is because of the perpetual transition of doctrine and theology handed down from one generation to the next but sadly this has been an empty way of life and in many cases doctrines of demons that have infiltrated the church all the while people continue to accept these as truth yet deny scripture every Sunday. The power of the gospel has all but left us and the enemy reigns on the throne. The king we are supposed to have has stepped aside. We know from scripture that God will do this and let the enemy attack but he will keep his promise to David and always leave a remnant. Just read about the kings of Israel. Remember the Old Testament is there to teach us about God. What we are now seeing in the church is this. 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.”
When God’s word, the way, the truth and the life infiltrates the darkness there will always be a reaction to the light as John tells us some will receive, some will reject. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
There are so many examples throughout scripture of this rejection. Sadly it all started in the garden with the rejection of God himself. They listened to the great deceiver and sin and death entered the world. When God plans something he will always raise up a priest who is faithful.1 Samuel 2:35 “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always.” This is also the promise to David that there will always be a king on the throne but it is this kingship that has caused problems for ages. God’s servants are not always what we think they should be or who they should be.
Look at Joseph. God gave him dreams that caused him to be despised by his family. Not only was he despised, he was sold into slavery basically they were prepared to murder him as they did not know the outcome of their actions. This is why they did that. Genesis 37:5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” 8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. 9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.” This is what happens when those around you do not receive God’s message. Later God then fulfills the dream. After Joseph tells Pharaoh what his dream means Pharaoh says,” 8 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Then we see Job. Job1:8 “Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Then the friends and even his wife question him because they could not understand how this could happen if Job was such a man of God. 9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job says of those around him. Job 30:1 “But now they mock me, men younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs. 9 “And now those young men mock me in song; I have become a byword among them. 10 They detest me and keep their distance; they do not hesitate to spit in my face. 11 Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me.” Then the friends of Job unleash their ignorance on him. Job 21:3 “Bear with me while I speak, and after I have spoken, mock on” but in the end Job stands before God although a changed man. Job 42:7 “After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. Job realized 2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 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.” Job 42:10 “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.” This is a good reminder of who was in the upper room as we talked about last week.
Unfortunately when someone does not understand God’s ways, the first response is to reject. Then we have David. Saul is rejected and he knows it and sets out to destroy David. God then tells Samuel 1 Samuel 16:1 “The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” Here is where you see jealously come into play.1 Samuel 16:6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But Eliab was not the one God chose. 1 Samuel 16:13 “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.” I am pretty sure Eliab thought he should be the one. I say this because later when David goes to the battle line to take food to his brothers 1 Samuel 17:26 “David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.” 28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” In the course of time David is anointed King
Then take Ezekiel. Ezekiel 3:4 “He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. 5 You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— 6 not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. 8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9 I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.” God’s prophets spoke what God told them say. 2 Chronicles 25:15 “The anger of the Lord burned against Amaziah, and he sent a prophet to him, who said, “Why do you consult this people’s gods, which could not save their own people from your hand?” 16 While he was still speaking, the king said to him, “Have we appointed you an adviser to the king? Stop! Why be struck down?” So the prophet stopped but said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.” Nehemiah 9:26 “But they were disobedient and rebelled against you; they turned their backs on your law. They killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies.” The same is happening today as people do not want to hear the word of the Lord and will take offense. We live in a time where God’s authority is despised. 2 Peter 2:10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.”
Each of these examples all had intense journeys that were seemingly unbearable but yet as David said, 1 Samuel 30:6 “he found strength in the Lord his God.” Speaking of intense we then have the Apostle Paul who after seeing Jesus was not what people thought he was. Then Paul said in Acts 22:3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.” He then met Jesus and was a changed man. 6 “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ 8 “‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. 9 My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. 10 “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ 11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me. 12 “A man named Ananias came to see me. (Earlier in Acts 9:10 “In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. 11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” 17 “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 “‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. 20 And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ 21 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.”
Paul was no longer the man he used to be, yet people were still afraid, even the disciples. Acts 9:6 “When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.” Acts 9:19 “Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.” This apostle did amazing things in the power of the Holy Spirit. Acts 9:11 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. People were perplexed then just as they are today concerning Paul Peter tells us that ignorant and unstable people distort the words he wrote.
Then we have our example, Jesus. We read earlier about the crucifixion of Jesus. John 19:1-22 “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. 15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. 16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.” 9 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” They still protest today but sadly so do the Gentiles. Jesus is not what they expected so they both now in many cases expect him to come and take his rightful place on the earthly throne of David. This rejection of the present Kingdom of power is a rejection of our King. In those days Israel had no king everyone did as they pleased. People in the church just like the Jews continue to reject Jesus because he does not fulfill the requirements the have set for the king. They reject the available power because it does not meet what they have been taught to believe. So generation after generation attempt to side step the truth. They reject and despise its messengers because they have become fools. 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. 26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Matthew 2:3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.” But the kingdom that Jesus was king of was different than most expected. Was he the King of the Jews? Yes! Does he reign on David’s throne? yes and yes but this is not what was expected. John 12:16 “At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.” Even just before Jesus was taken into heaven, the disciples asked him. Acts 1:6 “Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” This baby in the manger was not going to be what people expected. But like the chief priest who told Herod where this king would be born, they had been told but they have rejected the word of God. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.” They knew the truth but he did not meet their requirements just as they do not today. So the Jews continue to wait for their mashiach to come. The gentiles have now fallen for this deception of waiting for the King of the Jews to reign on David’s throne. So instead of teaching people to repent so the church can once again reign in power and do what Jesus had said we would do they have made up theology of the fools.
This kingdom is spiritual with amazing power available to all who believe. Why don’t we have it. Simple. Sin, Disobedience, lack of faith, unbelief, delusion, desolation, rejection of God’s word. But God is faithful to his promise to David. There will be a remnant of people to keep that promise going. So we return to the word of God and cry out to God to hear our cry and free us. We are not waiting for our king to reign, He reigns right now but will you serve under his authority, his headship. Will you serve wholeheartedly? Will you commit your life to him? Will you turn from your wicked ways? Will he be your King? Jesus said repent for the kingdom is near. In each story we talked about God’s promise was not thwarted. Our story will be the same. So we wait for His promises to be fulfilled. Just before John the Baptist died, the one as Jesus described, “Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.” But now he was questioning. Jesus answers him. Matthew 11:2 ‘When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 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.”
This is what the church should be. This is a kingdom where its servants are to be clothed with power. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 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.” This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We are called to remain true to the Lord with all our hearts. We must hold fast to his word and not let go. He will fulfill his promises to David. As the angel said to Mary. “no word from God will ever fail.”