Today, around the world churches will be celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:5 “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” Some services will begin with Alleluia. Christ is risen. (All) He is risen indeed. Alleluia. Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (All) He has given us new life and hope. He has raised Jesus from the dead. Alleluia. Christ is risen. (All) He is risen indeed. Alleluia.” There will be a celebration of praise and worship and there should be, as our Redeemer lives and is seated at the right hand of God. This calls for great celebration, as unlike other leaders, Jesus is not dead, He has risen and is alive, but He also gives us what others cannot, eternal life.
For 2000+ years, the church has focused on the resurrection of Jesus. Every time we participate in communion, we are to remember. 1 Peter 1:18 “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” Paul gave us these instructions, 1 Corinthians 11:23 “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” This thanksgiving doesn’t just have to be a corporate event but can be done every time you eat as we must not forget. But like the acclamation spoken above, communion has also become a ritual.
The other day we talked about Passover and how the Jews, with veiled faces still focus on their freedom from Egypt yet rejected and continue to reject the One who came to redeem them. Likewise, the church celebrates Easter year after year, yet also rejects the Messiah who saves them by not adhering to His word. The church will say He is risen, He is risen indeed and He will come again but the church does not act like Jesus has risen and has no fear of Jesus returning to take us to eternity. There will be some well-orchestrated services today with powerful worship but at the same time they will be totally void of the power that raised Jesus from the dead. Don’t mistake emotion and a well-run service for power. Most likely you will leave through the same wide door you came in, unchanged, unrepentant, and powerless. This is how it is supposed to be. Jesus said Mark 16:17 “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.” 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.” Today the church will be talking about the resurrection but that same power that raised Jesus from the dead will not be present unless the church turns from their wicked ways.
Paul prayed this prayer. Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, 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, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Mark 16:17 “And these signs will accompany those who believe.” But there is a belief problem which explains the lack of signs and miracles. After talking about communion, Paul went on to say, 1 Corinthians 11:27 “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.”
God loved us so much that He sent His Son to suffer for us and to make a way when there was none. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 1 John 2:2 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” Isaiah said Isaiah 53:4 “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Matthew then says Matthew 8:16 “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Paul prayed that the eyes of our heart would see power that was available to all who believed, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
Even after Jesus laid down His life for us, the church still rejects Him just like the Jews. Paul describes what happens when we sin against the body and blood of the Lord. The result is sickness, weakness and death which leads to eternal damnation. We see a picture of the church in Psalm 78:32 “In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe. 33 So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror. 34 Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again. 35 They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer.” The problem is the church refuses to repent and turn from wicked ways. The power available to the church is right before our eyes as scripture lays out very clearly the plan for the church, but man decided to come up with their own plan and call it church growth. Men and women will say God gave them a vision of how to “do church” better but it wasn’t God’s because He already has a plan and Jesus showed us what that plan was. The only way God’s plan works is if we follow and obey His way. When the church obeys His plan, power flows from on High. Instead of turning back and away from our wicked, empty and powerless ways, the church just keeps going forward in the wrong direction. Jeremiah 8:6 “I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle.”
All the power available to the church has been rejected to follow the empty paths of man, which means Jesus has been rejected, yet on this Easter day, people are giving praise that He has risen and He lives. It really is the highest level of hypocrisy. The church gives praise to God because Jesus is alive but at the same time rejects the power available to the church because He is alive. Mark 7:6 “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.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” Some will say they don’t reject God’s power as they are praying for healing every day, yet at the same time don’t believe that power is available to you and I as gifts of the Spirit. We are told these gifts would be given. 1 Corinthians 12:9 “to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers.” Just as Jesus gave His disciples power and authority, the church was to have that same power starting at Pentecost. 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.” The church at Pentecost was given that same power and authority to go to the ends of the earth. This is why Paul’s prayer is so important that the eyes of our hearts would be opened to the power that is available to all who believe.
Today should be a day of repentance and remorse due to the church’s rebellion. It is also a day to examine ourselves. Today the church should be gathering to humble themselves before God and ask Him to be merciful, even though we do not deserve it. Israel rejected God and paid a huge price. They lost the land promised to them and were taken into captivity. Even after returning to the land, they still rejected God and crucified their Saviour Jesus who came to save His people from their sins. Then even the second temple was demolished and 2000 years later the Jews still refuse to humble themselves before God. Now the church has rebelled just as Israel did and the abomination that causes desolation has decimated the church just like the first two temples were destroyed. The church has turned away to follow other gospels as 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.” Jesus is the head of the church and showed the church what to do, but the church has rejected the way we were shown to follow the ways of man.
God showed us the way and demonstrated His love for us by sending us His son. 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.” Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Not only did God demonstrate His love for us, He showed us what it meant to dwell among us. John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” As we see in the Gospels and Acts, we are shown what that looks like. The church does not look like that. Signs are not following the gospel message; therefore it is not the gospel message. Jesus went out and preached the good news in power and authority. Daniel 7:13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Revelation 12:10 “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.” Matthew 28:18 “Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Acts 2:22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” 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.” This is what the church was also supposed to do.
The gospel is proclaiming the good news, healing the sick and casting out demons as that is what Jesus and His disciples did. Instead, today the demonic has infiltrated the church and stands behind the pulpit and people everywhere are sick and not being healed. We were warned this would happen. 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” 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. 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.” 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.” We are that temple but Jeremiah 5:30 “a horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 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?” 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.” Plus, there is a massive famine taking place. 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.”
Everything we read in the Gospels and Acts is possible for today and nowhere does the bible say it is not possible. Yes, satan teaches that this power and authority is not available for today but that is not what scripture states. For example, cessationism is a doctrine of demons. It is because our Redeemer lives that we can believe that the power from on High will once again come to the church. If Jesus never rose from the dead, that would be a different story. If the church was not in desolation and captivity due to our rebellion, then we could sing praise but now is the time for repentance and the time will be for as long as it takes God to turn His face back to the church. Until then we must be faithful and continue to cry out so that God will turn His face back to us. Job said, Job 19:25 “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes— I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Jesus is still King of kings and His kingdom will come near but the church must turn from its wicked ways. God was still sovereign over all creation even though Israel and Judah were taken captive. We must humble ourselves before Him as Daniel did and continue to pray. Daniel 9:17 “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.” Joel 2:12 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14 Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God. 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, calla sacred assembly. 16 Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. 17 Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the portico and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
Every day that goes by, people are dying without knowing the truth. Many have been deceived and deluded into thinking that what they have committed to is the church, but it is not, and it will be too late. We know this by testing the spirits. We test the spirits by comparing what we see in the church to the bible. It does not take long to see that the church looks nothing like the church Jesus is the head of. Jesus did not die for the church to be the powerless and in captivity but to be free and go to the ends of the earth in the same power and authority as Jesus. Galatians 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” Even though Jesus redeemed us, the church chose the cursed side instead of the blessings as seen in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 and today the church is desolate and powerless against our enemies.
In all of this there is good news. Zechariah 1:3 “Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 12:8 “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.” Jeremiah 29:10 “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 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.” God freed His people from Babylon. Jeremiah 50:33 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: “The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go. 34 Yet their Redeemer is strong; the Lord Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon. 35 “A sword against the Babylonians!” declares the Lord.” Isaiah 54:5 “For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. 6 The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit— a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. 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.”
As we saw with Israel, even though they turned away time and time again, God would still hear their cry and redeem them from their enemies. There is hope for the church but as Paul said we were supposed to learn from them and not do as they did. 1 Corinthians 10:5 “God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” Peter said 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.” This is why we test the spirits. 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.” Psalm 78:1 “My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— 3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. 8 They would not be like their ancestors— a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him. 9 The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; 10 they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law. 11 They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them. 17 But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High. 18 They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. 19 They spoke against God; they said, “Can God really spread a table in the wilderness? 32 In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe. 33 So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror. 40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the wasteland! 41 Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember his power— the day he redeemed them from the oppressor, 43 the day he displayed his signs in Egypt. 56 But they put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High; they did not keep his statutes. 57 Like their ancestors they were disloyal and faithless, as unreliable as a faulty bow. 58 They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols. 59 When God heard them, he was furious; he rejected Israel completely.”
The church was supposed to learn from this and not follow their wicked ways, but they did not. So now the church must learn from those who repented. There were two kings who did repent: one from Judah and the other from Babylon. 2 Chronicles 33:9 “Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites. 10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. 12 In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. 13 And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.” Then there was King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 4:34 “At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then 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?” Then we have lost son. 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. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
As we saw the other day, the veil is removed when we turn back to God. As it stands presently the eyes are blind and ears are deaf. John 12:37 “Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.” When we turn back to God, our enemies will be defeated. Psalm 78:65 “Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, as a warrior wakes from the stupor of wine. 66 He beat back his enemies; he put them to everlasting shame.” Micah 7:8 “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. 9 Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until he pleads my case and upholds my cause. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness. 10 Then my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame, she who said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will see her downfall; even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets.” Deuteronomy 28:7 “The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.” This abomination that has caused the church to be desolate cannot be defeated with human effort which is why we must return to God’s word and wait for Him to shine His face upon us once again. The disciples were told Luke 24:49 “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.”
The God we are returning to is the creator of the earth. Ask yourself why the church does not want the power that spoke creation into being. If you do believe and are searching don’t give up. Isaiah 40:27 “Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 41:14 “Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Psalm 121:1 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Isaiah 44:6 “This is what the Lord says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. 21 “Remember these things, Jacob, for you, Israel, are my servant. I have made you, you are my servant; Israel, I will not forget you. 22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” 23 Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.” Luke 1:68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.”
God gave David a promise that he will never break. The only time that promise will cease is when this world ends and eternity begins. Matthew 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” God gave David this promise. 2 Samuel 7:11 “‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But 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.’” As we saw following Solomon, the kingdom would never be the same as Solomon disobeyed and in the end 2 Chronicles 36:20 “He (God) carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.” The promise would mean there would always be a remnant, not that people could live however they wanted with no repercussions. 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.’”
God will keep His promise to David, but as we saw with Israel and Judah there was great destruction because of their rebellion. The same has happened with the church and today the church is desolate and in captivity. The church was warned in Daniel this would happen. Jesus warned the church and Paul gave warning, but it was all ignored, and the church tried to build with their own hands, losing the power and authority that we were intended to have and because of it God allowed our enemies to cause great destruction. Most of the church have accepted the teaching of false prophets, teachers and leaders, as they are everywhere. The church lives by man-made doctrines and theology but refuses to live by the word of God. Jesus said that he would “confirm His word by the signs that accompanied it.” Since the church is not seeing that happen, then the gospel that is being preached must be other gospels which is the same as following other gods, thus drawing the wrath of God. Because of this rebellion, God allows our enemies to prevail against. But the good news, just as the exiles returned to their land, the church will be free from this desolation. As Daniel said this abomination will end. Daniel 7:21 “As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.” Daniel 8:25 “He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.” Daniel 9:27 “And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him Jesus said Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
On this Easter Sunday take the time to evaluate your salvation. Now is the time to do this because once you die, it will be too late. There will be many that hear depart from me I don’t know you. If you are attending any church these days, you have to test the spirits to make sure. You have to be diligent and look because they are not going to tell you they are teaching you false doctrines. Every church has adopted their own doctrines and theology as truth, but everyone teaches something different and everyone declares they are right, but there is only one right way, so all these ways cannot be truth. Daniel told us 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.” Jesus gives us this warning. 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. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” Luke 13:23 “Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.”
This is why it is imperative that you work out your salvation and make sure. You will be told by these above that you are safe and secure and no need for alarm, but that is not true. The alarm has been sounding but it has gone unnoticed. False teachers are distorting scripture and leading their followers astray just as we were warned. 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” Return to God’s word and test the spirits. Read the fine print as to what your church believes. What man or women and their doctrines are you following? What doctrines of demons are you following? You may not see it right out in the open but it is there and as you know there are some really good counterfeits out there. This is why you need to know the truth when looking for the false.
Since God has turned His face from us, the power of the Holy Spirit is not present. Jesus said John 16:12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” Don’t look for the ways of men and women but return to the only way, truth and life. 2 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.” 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!”
When God does turn His face back to the church, the church will once again go out in the power and authority Jesus gave His disciples. Jesus said John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” His disciples went out and did as Jesus did. Mark 6:12 “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.” That was not supposed to stop. The church will once again be like the Gospels and His disciples will go out once again in power from on High.
On this Easter Sunday, we have hope because yes Jesus did rise from the dead so that means we serve a risen saviour and Redeemer. And that means there is still power and authority available to all who believe. Will Jesus say this to you? “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” We all need to pray that God will open our ears to the truth of His word. Luke 24:30 “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”