Today on the Christian calendar is Pentecost Sunday. This is not actually supposed to be a day but a life in Christ, anointed by the power of the Holy Spirit. By following His word in obedience God has promised to be with us always and defeat our enemies. Every where we set our feet will be our and no one will stand against us. Be strong and courageous but we must not turn to the left or to the right. Disobedience always leads to defeat. Whenever there is a broken covenant God has to turn His face from us. Calling out to God in repentance is the only way to return to Him so that he will return to us. In the garden, Adam and Eve disobeyed and they were cast out. In the Promised Land they disobeyed and they were vomited out. In our day we have disobeyed but the false teachers have convinced the church that God is okay with that and will not treat us accordingly. 2 Kings 17:13 says, “Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets. 14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence.” Hebrews 10:6 “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Daniel said in Daniel 9:11 “All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. “Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you.”
How is it that we expect God to bless us in our sin? The answer is we can’t, so we must repent. So here the church is after generations of turning away from God still doing their own thing and still going their own way. Hebrews 10:39 “But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” It is obvious that defeat from our enemies is not how it is supposed to be. This is why the church looks nothing like the New Testament. Jesus said in Matthew 28 to teach them to obey and I will be with you always. So what happens if you do not obey? We will be disciplined. Scripture makes it clear that the enemy is allowed to attack and defeat us and there will only be a remnant of people left. Isaiah 1:15 “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!”
So what happens when a group of people cry out to God and return to Him? 1 Samuel 7:2 “Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord. 3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.” Joshua 24:3 said, “Now then, throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” 24 And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.” The only way to return to God is with everything we have, soul mind strength. Israel would follow and then turn away. Judges tells us this happened over and over again. We have done the same but our time is running out.
The good news as Samuel said is that 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.” David was promised that there Jeremiah 33:17 “will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, Jeremiah 33:14 “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah. 15 “‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’”
Now skip ahead to Pentecost and Peter preaching. Acts 2:17 “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
So that was over 2000 years ago and the question I ask is what make us think it does not matter how we live. God is patient. His own people still have not turned back to him after 2000 years. Yes God said to David 2 Samuel 7:15 “my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’” But we must understand that the Lord’s discipline meant that because they disobeyed he had to expel them from the Promised Land into captivity and only a remnant was left. The church disobeyed almost right away and has been living in disobedience ever since. Revelation showed us that the church had lost their first love, needed to wake up and were lukewarm and just like in the Promised Land Jesus said he would spew them out of His mouth because of it. The visions and dreams Peter talked about have all but disappeared.
1 Samuel 3:1 “The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out,” The lamp is barely flickering in our day. We are in the same position as Judges 2:10 where “another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 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.” The problem is that most don’t know they need to be in distress and cry out to God. We live in a day of great deception and delusion and many have been deceived and will not spend eternity with God.
But now we get to the good news but you have to ask yourself if you are willing to be part of the faithful remnant. Malachi 3:16 “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. 17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” Are you willing to wait on the Lord to be clothed with the power of the Holy spirit? We cannot go without the power as the church has seen in their defeat and desolation. Do we want to be part of a church that operates according to the Spirit of God who distributes His gifts as he desires or part of a church that has a slick operation, that looks like a fortune 5oo company with no power. That’s an easy answer I believe but most are picking a church that has good programs and drama and facilities and good speakers and music and not even realize that the power of the Holy Spirit is missing. Would it not be better to pick
1 Corinthians 12: 7 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” 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.” Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, 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.” James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Do we really just want to feel good Sunday morning and be defeated or do we want to follow the word of God wholeheartedly and go to war and win. Paul said, Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.” Jesus said, Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Now we have a choice; are we going to believe or be like Jesus hometown and not believe. Are we going to be rebuked for our lack of faith and stubborn refusal to believe? Or will we wait to be clothed with power so we can go out in victory because the Lord goes ahead of us and the battle is His. After Pentecost Acts 2:47 the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” People being saved, being healed and demons cast out is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
Like Gideon we have been raised in defeat because of the empty way of life handed down to us from our fathers. The enemy continues to trample the harvest but yet God has heard our cries and is coming but we must believe. Mark 9:19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us. 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes. 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” Luke 13:10 “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.” Matthew 9:20 “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed. 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.” Are we not tired of being defeated and struggling like Paul described in Romans 7:15 “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Our journey has taken us back to the word of God and back to believing there is power available to all who believe . Do we believe it or not? Jesus said, 5 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.” 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 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.” Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” Then 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.” 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.” Acts 4:29 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” Do we not wan this same thing? I am perplexed as to why the church does not want this and is willing to live without it.
In order to fulfill the mission God has for us we must be filled with power knowing that the battle is the Lord’s. Psalm 140:7 “Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle.” Psalm 144:1” Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” Isaiah 42:13 “The Lord will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies.” Yes we are called to go to war but not in our own strength. Numbers 10:9 “When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies.” 1 Chronicles 5:20 They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him. 21 They seized the livestock of the Hagrites—fifty thousand camels, two hundred fifty thousand sheep and two thousand donkeys. They also took one hundred thousand people captive, 22 and many others fell slain, because the battle was God’s. And they occupied the land until the exile. 1 Samuel 17:45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 2 Chronicles 14:11 Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.” 1 Kings 20:13 “Meanwhile a prophet came to Ahab king of Israel and announced, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the Lord.’” 1 Samuel 26:10 As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 2 Chronicles 20:2 “Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 2 Chronicles 32:7 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. 8 With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” This battle with Sennacherib and God hearing our cry is so important it appears in Kings Chronicles and Isaiah. Take the time to read it.
Gideon went to war with three hundred men Judges 7:2 “The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.” We need the power of the Holy Spirit once again. This is why we have been praying for revival and this is why there has been great resistance to it. satan knows what the church can do against him with the power of the Holy Spirit. He also understands that he can win if the church does not have the power. God brought delusion on to the church because of unbelief. We must believe that God will do as he said he would do. Elijah stood before the people and said, 1 Kings 18:21 “Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. But the people said nothing.” The Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal and said the god who answers by fire—he is God.” and he did answer by fire. 36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again. 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. 39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” 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. 2 Chronicles 7:1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” We are not looking to fill good but to have the very presence of God living with us.