Yesterday we looked at an article that told the story of a minister who became an atheist because she didn’t think God’s word was rational or relevant to this world. This was a life ruined as well as her family. Those that listen to her story and agree will be ruined as well. Today’s church doesn’t seem to realize we are at war with satan nor does the church understand it has been loosing that war simply because the church depends on human hands. This article was a cry for help from the defeated even they weren’t crying but they should have been. They have been so severely deceived they do not know enough to actually cry out for help. This is the result of false teaching and empty words. What this minister experienced was the result of a powerless church. This lack of understanding has caused people like her to be defeated by our enemies. Isaiah 5:13 “Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge and Hosea 4:14 “The people without understanding are ruined” Jesus did not die on the cross for that to keep happening. Unlike this minister when Jesus spoke people responded in amazement. Matthew 7:28 “When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.” Matthew 9:33 “And after the demon was cast out, the man who was previously unable to speak talked; and the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” Unfortunately this is not what we are seeing in the church today.
                The bible is God’s word but when the church changes or rejects His words, the church becomes powerless against our enemies. As we saw with Babylon, Israel and Judah were annihilated with only a few survivors. satan has also brought great destruction on the church due to our disobedience. That was not what was supposed to happen. I still find it amazing that God lets His people at great cost mind you, go their own way. God gave us the Garden of Eden and then the Promised Land and then the church, yet in all of these man has turned away from God all because of disobedience to His word. Genesis 2:16 “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” They ate from the tree. Leviticus 20:22 “Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. 23 You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. 24 But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations.” 2 Kings 21:9 “But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.” Jesus said Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” John 3:36 “The one who believes in the Son has eternal life; but the one who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” 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. 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” Like those who have gone before us, the church has not listened and went their own way bringing destruction upon ourselves.
                When Daniel prayed he knew they had disobeyed as obviously they were in captivity. Daniel 9:5 “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.” Most in the church do not pray this way because they do not think they are in desolation because of their sins. That belief is from deception and delusion as they think everything is okay. That is like being in the walled city while you are surrounded by the enemy, with their siege ramps and people are starving and you think it is okay. It is not okay because millions are dying without knowing the truth.
                Jesus did not die for us so that we could be defeated by our enemies. Paul prayed that we would understand the power that is available to all who believe. Ephesians 1:18 “the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” We celebrate Easter but remain powerless. The church does not have that power and the devil is still at work against God’s people. Revelation 12:12 “But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” We do have a Savior to oppose the attacks of satan. 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.” Paul said Galatians 1:2 “to the churches in Galatia: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” We were supposed to be rescued from darkness and the power of the evil one. Paul was sent out Acts 26:8 “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.” Jesus sent out his disciples and Luke 9:1 “He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Luke 10:17 “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Acts 5:15 “As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” Acts 8:6 “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.” Notice the power over the demonic.
                The church was Isaiah 61:1 “to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,” not be in darkness and captivity. satan has been allowed to have great power over the church and this abomination has caused great desolation. Our only hope is to return to the word of the Lord. Do not be like this minister who rejected God’s word, but seek God and live. Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?” Jesus said Mark 1:15 “The time has come, the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” We have been called to believe His words are truth. Moses said, Deuteronomy 32:47 “They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” If they had listened they would have lived long in the land but they did not. The church has been in a severe famine. Amos 8:11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.” We should be desperate for living water for John 4:14 “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
                The church can no longer just accept everything that is spoken from any speaker or church. Test the spirits. Ask God to give you eyes that see and ears that hear. Make sure you are hearing truth but don’t just hear, believe. John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” Jesus came that we would have life not death, light not darkness and freedom not captivity. John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” As Peter said, save yourself from this corrupt generation.