For years we have enjoyed camping in our tent trailers. Over the years we have had a couple of tent trailers that were quite large when you opened them up. The beds on either end were a little bigger than a queen but not quite a king and the total opened length was around twenty-one feet. This meant you had a fairly large trailer that towed small and light. We loved the openness of having the flaps zipped down as it gave you the feeling of sleeping outside except with the security of knowing you weren't. It was like a tent except with wheels meaning you were not on the ground. As you can probably sense, we are not hard-core campers. We are somewhere in the middle of uncomfortable and comfortable as you might assess from all the stuff we bring. After many years of tent trailer camping, we finally got tired of setting up house especially if it rained anywhere in the process. Going camping meant setting up to pack, then closing everything back up to travel. Once at our selected destination we would set up for the duration of our stay and then at the end tear down while hoping it did not rain. You can’t put a tent trailer away wet, so if it did rain that meant drying it out once you were home. So when we did get home that meant setting up and emptying and then closing it back up until the next time. Don’t get me wrong; we loved it until we didn’t. But then we found a hybrid trailer that checked our boxes and some we did not know we had. Our hybrid trailer is a travel trailer combined with a tent trailer, which means the ends fold down very easily meaning only the beds fold away but the rest of the trailer you may enter at any time. The ends still gave us the openness of the tent trailer. While travelling you can stop and take your lunch out of the fridge and eat in your trailer, no set up required. It also meant no set up to load and unload. We still have to be careful with the rain but we love it. This in-between 23 foot hybrid trailer also means a shorter and lighter tow but when opened we are over 32 feet long.
In the case of a trailer and if you love tent trailering, you will love a hybrid trailer. This combination of travel trailer and tent trailer works really well. Technology and design have come a long way and if you take care of it, you can get a lot of years out of it. You also see a lot of hybrid cars, which is a mix of fuel and electricity. Here is an ad for them. “No-compromise combination of pure battery electric power and an efficient petrol engine. Less consumption, but no less powerful. Explore our inventory of plug-in hybrid cars! Luxury & Convenience.” So here is the curveball. You may be thinking yes this is a great concept and how can this be applied to Christianity. The easy answer is it can’t but not without attempts to hybridize Christianity. When this hybridization is applied to Christianity, the church actually in doing so rejects the word of God. Unfortunately the church has hybridized without even realizing what has happened. In the churches man made efforts to reach the world they became like the world. James tells us James 4:4 “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” Therefore hybridizing has nothing to do with Christianity and not a great concept, actually a concept to run from. I would easily tell you to buy a hybrid trailer but if you or the church is a hybrid, I will tell you to run for your lives.
Hybridization is “the process of crossbreeding between genetically dissimilar parents to produce a hybrid” The definition of hybrid is “having or produced by a combination of two or more distinct elements.” The result is a blending of two very distinct entities producing something quite different than the originals. With a trailer or an automobile, even a plant or animal, having something that is hybrid works and in some cases works really well but not with Christianity though many try. Sunday after Sunday worshippers attend hybrid churches thinking they are safe and secure. Many attempt to hybridize as they feel they have to reach the world by being like the world because the bible by itself doesn’t seem to be working, at least the one they know doesn’t seem to. Man in their feeble and pathetic efforts felt that their way would be better than God’s way, therefore the hybrid church. This has happened because there is no power in the church so man has built the church by what their hands have made. God warned us Deuteronomy 31:29 “For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.” You need to come to this point where Micah 5:13 “you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands.” Last week I mentioned briefly about hybrid Christianity. I said, “Today the church has ignored the new covenant of Jesus Christ and has made their own covenant. Hybrid Christianity is not truth, as you cannot mix the world and the Word of God together.” The church today has taken the bible and mixed it with world, all in an effort to be relevant but in the process became irrelevant to God. They took the parts of God’s word they liked and changed God’s word to more palatable to our demise.
Today I’m talking about a blending of man’s own covenant of rules and traditions with God’s perfect way. Yes there is the obvious mixing of the world and the church and what you wear has over the years produced great division in the church, as the church has been at odds over how you dress when going to church. At one point it was a sin to wear a tie then it was a sin not to wear a tie. Now I think it is what is a tie? I’m okay with that. The same goes with music. At one point musical instruments were evil such as having an organ but then it caused division if you wanted to go in a different direction. Those days seem long gone yet I know there are still major issues of both. Today you can have an organ recital in one church and a rock concert in another and everything in-between. Some groups have a dress code and that is how you are to look as a christian. Some of these issues really are a lot of nonsense when you think of the original purpose of the church. Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4 “But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 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.” Isaiah 61:10 “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
The church got off track and became naked and should be ashamed. Even so dress and music have been and continue to be a distraction. It really is simple; dress modestly and sing. Paul said 1 Timothy 2:8 “Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 9 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” Now before you say hey what about the men, Paul was speaking to an issue here but the same can be said for the men. A fancy suit doesn’t mean much of anything in church. I remember one church conference years ago where the leaders were wearing their power suits and red ties and they all looked the same. Luke 20:46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.” So yes woman need to dress modestly but so do men. As far as singing goes, Psalm 96:1 “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.” Ephesians 5:19 “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
God looks at the heart not at what you wear or say. He knows that what comes out of your mouth can be deceptive, so He looks at your heart. You can have a church full of people dressed impeccably while singing in perfect harmony and still have God not listen to their prayers. Jeremiah 7:4 “Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!” Isaiah 1:13 “I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. 14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 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!” 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.” 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” Colossians 2:20 “Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” There are far greater problems in the church than dress and song style.
The problem with hybrid christianity is that by mixing in the world’s ways with God’s ways, worshipping is now in vain. We have people who think they are honoring God but do not realize their hearts are far from Him. Deuteronomy 6:13 “Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.” 2 Kings 17:15 “They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.” Ezekiel 5:5 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. 6 Yet in her wickedness she has rebelled against my laws and decrees more than the nations and countries around her. She has rejected my laws and has not followed my decrees. 7 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You have been more unruly than the nations around you and have not followed my decrees or kept my laws. You have not even conformed to the standards of the nations around you.” If you think you can continue in those ways, you have been deceived. Jeremiah said, Jeremiah 5:11 “The people of Israel and the people of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me,” declares the Lord. 12 They have lied about the Lord; they said, “He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine. 13 The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them. 20 “Announce this to the descendants of Jacob and proclaim it in Judah: 21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: 22 Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord. “Should you not tremble in my presence? 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?” 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. 7 Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord.” 8 “‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? 9 The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have? From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. 11 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace. 12 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the Lord.”
Around the world the church is filled with false prophets and teachers who are distorting the word of the Lord and leading His sheep astray. They have mixed their words, their thoughts, their visions and say thus sayeth the Lord. Jeremiah 23:16 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. 3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.”
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, though it may not feel like it. For years we have talked about the first and second advent / coming of Jesus. The first was when Jesus came to the earth to save us and the second will be the return of Jesus to usher in eternity. It is important to understand that there will be eternity for every single person that has ever lived but make sure you choose to believe and obey. Our decision to believe effects our eternal location. Matthew 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” John 3:6 “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.” In order to be the righteous who see eternal life, we must believe and obey the words that bring eternal life. These words also bring eternal punishment if you reject them. Matthew 13:36 “Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” Many churches today have adapted the world’s standards at the cost of rejecting God’s word. These will not inherit the kingdom of God. The hybrid church does not have that kind of power to say that is what some of you were. The world states this is who I was born to be but the true church, the gospel of Jesus Christ says with the power to change; be born again” John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again,”
The moment Jesus came, the world stood condemned yet a way was also made at that very moment. Hebrews 10:19 “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Mark 1:14 “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” John 1:9 “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” This is the power that Paul talked about when he said, “that’s what some of you were.” Then the time came for Jesus to go. Matthew 16:21 “From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” John 16:7 “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” If you refuse to follow the word of the Lord, you too will stand condemned.
There are many ways that are taught in the hybrid church but there is only one righteous way to eternal life. Jesus said John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Sadly the church has chosen to mix their own way and has tried to do things in their own strength while saying it is God’s way and strength yet still remain condemned. Romans 2:5 “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.6 God will repay each person according to what they have done. 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” Romans 5:9 “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! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
The church has turned away from the only way and has created many ways, all the while refusing to acknowledge the one true way, thus all the differing kinds of church. There has been a huge hybridization of the church. Man started to worship man, his words and his creations while using God’s creation and claiming they are standing on His word instead of worshipping God and following the word that created all. Can you imagine turning from the God who King Darius proclaimed after Daniel was saved from the lions, Daniel 6:26 “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. 27 He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Can you imagine turning from the God whom David praised when he said, 1 Chronicles 29:10 “Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. 11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.” Can you imagine turning from the God who taught us to pray, Matthew 6:9 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Can you imagine turning form the God who said, John 14:13 “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.” Can you imagine turning from the Lord God Almighty whom the angels sang about. Revelation 15:2 “They held harps given them by God 3 and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb: Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. 4 Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
This song they were referring to is the Song of Moses we were told not to forget. I am going to include it here as this song describes the church today. Deuteronomy 31:17 “Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’ 18 And I will certainly hide my face in that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods. 19 “Now write down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them. 20 When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their ancestors, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant. 21 And when many disasters and calamities come on them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath.” 22 So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites.” Deuteronomy 32:1 “Listen, you heavens, and I will speak; hear, you earth, the words of my mouth. 2 Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. 3 I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! 4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. 5 They are corrupt and not his children; to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation. 6 Is this the way you repay the Lord, you foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you? 7 Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you. 8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel. 9 For the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance. 10 In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, 11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft. 12 The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him. 13 He made him ride on the heights of the land and fed him with the fruit of the fields. He nourished him with honey from the rock, and with oil from the flinty crag, 14 with curds and milk from herd and flock and with fattened lambs and goats, with choice rams of Bashan and the finest kernels of wheat. You drank the foaming blood of the grape. 15 Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; filled with food, they became heavy and sleek. They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior. 16 They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols. 17 They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God— gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear. 18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 The Lord saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. 21 They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. I will make them envious by those who are not a people; I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding. 22 For a fire will be kindled by my wrath, one that burns down to the realm of the dead below. It will devour the earth and its harvests and set afire the foundations of the mountains. 23 “I will heap calamities on them and spend my arrows against them. 24 I will send wasting famine against them, consuming pestilence and deadly plague; I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts, the venom of vipers that glide in the dust. 25 In the street the sword will make them childless; in their homes terror will reign. The young men and young women will perish, the infants and those with gray hair. 26 I said I would scatter them and erase their name from human memory, 27 but I dreaded the taunt of the enemy, lest the adversary misunderstand and say, ‘Our hand has triumphed; the Lord has not done all this.” 28 They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them. 29 If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be! 30 How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the Lord had given them up? 31 For their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies concede. 32 Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are filled with poison, and their clusters with bitterness. 33 Their wine is the venom of serpents, the deadly poison of cobras. 34 “Have I not kept this in reserve and sealed it in my vaults? 35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” 36 The Lord will vindicate his people and relent concerning his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. 37 He will say: “Now where are their gods, the rock they took refuge in, 38 the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up to help you! Let them give you shelter! 39 “See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. 40 I lift my hand to heaven and solemnly swear: As surely as I live forever, 41 when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me. 42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood, while my sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders.” 43 Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people. 44 Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people. 45 When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. 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 you read carefully and listened, you would see that church is described in this forgotten song and it is still a witness against the church. Therefore “The Lord saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. I will hide my face from them, he said, and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.” We too followed after other gods / gospels while still proclaiming that we are following faithfully. 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.” The hybrid christian is a lukewarm christian who has followed other gospels / gods to no avail. Revelation 3:15 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” The church made up of lukewarm christians will not see the available kingdom because the church refuses to repent and turn from their wicked ways. 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!” Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it. 54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.” And yes the church still does not want to hear this.
Unfortunately due to deception and delusion, the church appears to have been blessed for their disobedience. I understand that this confuses many. There are many churches that other churches are emulating because they think God is blessing them but they are sadly mistaken. They have seen phenomenal growth and it appears that God blesses everything they do. Yet we have many examples of the deception from Crystal Cathedral, both Mars Hill, Willow Creek and most recently Hillsong NYC just to name a few. It is not God who blesses disobedience but satan. In fact most do not know their success is not really from God. Daniel 11:30 “ He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant. 31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.” Luke 4:5 “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” John 16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.”
This pandemic continues to show the hybrid church as weak, pathetic and powerless compared to the true church of scripture. All around the world people are hoping for a vaccine. People have put their faith in a vaccine and are crying out for the god of the vaccine instead of crying out to the God of creation and submitting to His ways. The church has also put their hope in the law / constitution. All across the country, churches have gone to court to remain open. In many cases they are ignoring the health orders and continue to meet is spite of fines. Most recently New York Catholics and Synagogues went to court and it appears there was victory but the church will still remain the same and the virus will spread. “In a 5-4 ruling, the US Supreme Court sided with religious organizations in a dispute over Covid-19 restrictions put in place by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo limiting the number of people attending religious services.” Others around the country are filling their pews made up mostly those who think the pandemic is just a mild case of the flu and because it has not yet affected them, downplay the seriousness of it. John MacArthur is our ongoing example for the rebellious church. After this verdict, MacArthur tweeted “It's divine providence at work as the Lord uses the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the hubris of @NYGovCuomo , the determination of @realDonaldTrump, and the convictions of Justice Barrett to protect the freedom of His church.” You can have determination but have you seen Trump’s delusional ranting and raving. To pack a church with thousands of people as MacArthur has with no masks, no social distancing and a constant downplay of how serious this pandemic is, lines up with Trump’s delusional philosophy. I am not sure how any pastor can line up with Trump as he checks all the boxes as to what God detests. Proverbs 6:16 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
As we have seen this virus doesn’t care if you go to church yet the church, not only MacArthur’s, wants to pack the pews with total disregard for health and safety and make as joke of this pandemic. In the United States they have put their trust in the constitution and have disregarded scripture and yes the constitution will let them gather in the midst of this war, which is about the dumbest thing ever. Here is why. If you are a hybrid church which most are, you have no power. Gathering together is not the church. This also means you have no protection from the enemy. God will continue to allow the enemy to desecrate the church and it will get worse if we do not turn back to God’s word. Yes the vaccine will come and some will win and some will loose in court but there will still be a pandemic of hearing the word of the Lord and the church will remain powerless until we submit to God’s ways only. 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.” Instead of the church turning back to God and then going out into the world in power where the harvest is plentiful, the church just wants to continue being the hybrid church that can do nothing to change the world but only continue to be like it. In fact the church has made it worse for those who initially were seeking truth but were only fed falseness. Malachi 2:5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin. 7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. 8 But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty. 9 “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.” 2 Peter 2:17 “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.”
Now if your church and don’t be deceived by satan masquerading as he is doing in the charismatic circles, looks like this next verse, then stand strong but if it doesn’t repent so that this kingdom will come near. Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” Matthew 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.” This was not a one and done event as Jesus himself empowered his disciples to go and do the same. He not only anointed those in the upper room at Pentecost but also sent His spirit to cloth all who would believe with power from on High. Peter said Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call. 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” In Matthew 9:35 “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
When Jesus came at the first Advent, He showed us the way so that we could prepare the world for His return. At that point when Jesus returns, the world is over. Until then we were told how to live. 2 Peter 3:8 “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”
The hybrid church is filled with those who distort scripture to their own demise. Jeremiah 23:36 “But you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God. 39 Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring on you everlasting disgrace—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.” The church today is made up of false teaching and doctrines of demons. Doctrines of demons and doctrines of truth cannot mix. This is why you will hear some truth in these hybrid churches but only death and destruction will come from them because they did not seek only the truth. Jeremiah 23:21 “I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.” As we have said before, drinking just a little cyanide poison will kill you. When your eyes begin to open, you will want all of the truth and this will cause you to flee because God will once again destroy Babylon. 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.” God is about to destroy our enemy. Jeremiah 51:6 “Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the Lord’s vengeance; he will repay her what she deserves.” 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!” Ezekiel 33:11 “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?”
The hybrid church filled with hybrid christians will only hear from Jesus I don’t know you. Luke 13:22 “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 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. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
The church must come to their senses before it is to late. Repentance in the framework of a false gospel is not the same as repentance that brings the kingdom of God near. Jesus said repent so that the kingdom would come near but true repentance is not happening in the church. Most people don’t even know the true meaning of repentance as they have simply joined a particular church and have adapted to that set of beliefs and have given themselves over to them. Amos 4:11 “I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. 12 “Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, Israel, prepare to meet your God.” 13 He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord God Almighty is his name.” What a statement “prepare to meet your God” is. Sadly most do not have a clue who God is or what He expects. 2 Kings 17:40 “They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41 Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.” We are told that Israel was destroyed because they did not listen. 2 Kings 17:7 “All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God.” Habakkuk was told Habakkuk 1:5 “Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. 6 I am raising up the Babylonians.” They were told in Amos to repent as there was only a remnant left. Amos 5:3 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel: “Your city that marches out a thousand strong will have only a hundred left; your town that marches out a hundred strong will have only ten left.” Today’s church only has a remnant left.
The good news is that God always make a way for those who will turn from their wicked ways. Amos 5:4 “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. 15 Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph. 14 Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.” Many in the church today believe that God is with them in their hybrid churches but in fact God has turned His face from us, thus removing the power that was available to us and letting our enemies prevail. God turning His face from us is what happens when we do not follow God’s word wholeheartedly. It will come as quite a surprise when people that have attended church their whole life realize they have been duped into a following a false gospel.
Here is an example of how the church needs to come to its senses. This is the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. As no one else could interpret the dream he called for Daniel. Daniel then interprets the dream and tells the king. Daniel 4:19 “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries! 20 The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth, 21 with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the wild animals, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds— 22 Your Majesty, you are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth. 24 “This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: 25 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. 26 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue. 28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” (We also saw this with King Uzziah 2 Chronicles 26:15 “His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. 16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall.) 31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.” 33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled.” 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?” 36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”
The church is in this position now and must repent and acknowledge that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. God absolutely detests arrogance as we saw earlier with President Trump checking these boxes. Proverbs 6:16 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Isaiah 2:11 “The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” The church cannot continue to go their own way. Nothing good will come from it. As it is now millions have died without knowing the truth. Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive.” Mixing the word of God with man’s word leads to the devastation we now see in the church. The manmade hybrid church has proven to be complete failure.
We must come to the realization that God’s “dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation” and return to our senses. To do this we must repent. 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.’ 19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.” If there is a refusal to repent, there is no hope when the end comes the world as we know it is finished. It will be heaven or hell forever.
So today choose life and prosperity not death and destruction. Deuteronomy 30:19 “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” It is better to come to your senses now and make this statement. Job 42:2 “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.” There is only one true church. Ephesians 4:3 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” 9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
Will you praise the Most High; and honor and glorify Him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion. Will you acknowledge that His kingdom endures from generation to generation and that all the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing? Will you submit to Him who does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth as no one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” Ecclesiastes 8:4 “Since a king’s word is supreme, who can say to him, “What are you doing?” 5 Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. 6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery. 7 Since no one knows the future, who can tell someone else what is to come? 8 As no one has power over the wind to contain it, so no one has power over the time of their death.” Hebrews 3:7 “So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest. 12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” 16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.”