Great song (Same Power by Jeremy Camp), right? But is it true. Scripture tells us the same power is only available if we follow God wholeheartedly and turn from our wicked ways. Remember man’s ways are wicked. I used this song because it bothers me. I believe the same power is available for us today but we are not seeing it. Let me just jump right in. I always thought the term icebreaker was strange because in fact an icebreaker crushes ice so lets break some ice. Does the same power really live in us? I first looked at Jeremy Camps beliefs as stated on his charities webpage. He said, “We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, whose indwelling enables the Christian to live a godly life. (John 3:5-8; Acts 1:8 and 4:31; Romans 8:9) That sounds good but where is 1 Corinthians 12. So then I noticed he was connected to a ministry Harvest America by pastor Greg Laurie. So as I do, I went to their statement of faith and it is expanded. I first looked at their end time’s belief. Sure enough – premillennial return and by the way their statement makes no sense at all. Okay now look at the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. They start off - "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…"—Jesus, Son of God. “The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity in every Christian's life for the service to which God has called us.” Yes that sounds good but something is missing. Then the question “What Is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is answered ? The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs when the Spirit of God comes upon a believer. The Holy Spirit fills the believer's mind with a genuine understanding of truth, takes possession of the believer's abilities, and imparts gifts that qualify the believer for service in the body of Christ.” So according to this, premillennialism is truth, but not according to scripture though, so how could it be truth led by the spirit. They go on to say “The purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to empower believers for service, to witness, for spiritual warfare, and for boldness in their testimonies (see Acts 1:8; 4:19–20, 29–31; 6:8–10; 1 Corinthians 2:4). Where is 1 Corinthians 12? Oh I see we have to go to "What We Believe: The Holy Spirit.”
Okay now you will see how mans teaching is deadly and why this song bothers me so much because they really don’t believe the same power is available but only as described in their own doctrine. So then you go to “God the Spirit” – “We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ during this age. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He draws the unredeemed to repentance and faith, and at salvation imparts new spiritual life to the believer, bringing that person into union with Christ and the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit sanctifies, seals, fills, guides, instructs, comforts, equips, empowers, permanently indwells at salvation, and bestows spiritual gifts to the believer for Christ-like living and service.” That sounds good doesn’t it? So here are the verses to back what they said up. This standard practice. (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11–12; Romans 8:9–17; 12:4–8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:4–5, 11–13, 19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 2:1–4; 2 Corinthians 12:12) So finally 1 Corinthians 12 shows up so we can say the same power is here, the one that empowered the disciples to heal and cast out demons. They also say “We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life; we further believe His power and gifts are available to believers today.” But listen to the verses they. Listen carefully 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be?”
But wait something is missing what about the power gifts. What about “7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.” Both left this out. Why? Well you listened to John MacArthur say Pentecost was a onetime event and the power gifts have ceased, that these power gifts were temporary. But again this is not what the bible teaches only man and in this case a doctrine of demons.. So when they sing this song and what they really saying is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. So the ice is thick and we need a nuclear icebreaker like the Russians have so that we can break the ice.
So what is the purpose of this little icebreaker. If you read this you would think this is good theology and it would be easy to skip right over the missing power. Remember a form of godliness but deny the power. Like the song, it sounds good but it is false teaching, distorted and they continue to deceive Christians by the millions. The whitewashed wall will fall. We are told do not subtract or add to scripture. This is what they have done so how can they be led by the Spirit. Remember big does not always mean powerful. Sadly many will find out on the day it is too late because they refused to live by God’s word and chose man’s instead.
So then lets ask ourselves this simple question. So what difference does it make if we leave out part of the gospel. Maybe I should put this way. Is God going before us and behind us? Is the enemy trembling, the war over? Should we be fearless when we are not fearful of God and do not adhere to the whole counsel of His word? When our theology does not fit with the bible and we change the bible we should be fearful. The word of God tells us that he is with us and he isn’t. How is that for confusion? He is if we obey, he isn’t if we do not then our enemies will be allowed to defeat. We cannot say we follow if we do not follow God’s word completely. You see people are being taught wrong so that can’t be the Holy Spirit. Not only are they taught wrong they are under delusion because of their unbelief. It is not a matter of interpretation but leaving out parts of God’s word and adding to it. John 16:13 “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.” We cannot stand before God and expect the enemy to tremble in our disobedience as Joshua found out. It really is that simple. What is being taught today is that God goes with us no matter what but that is not what scripture says. You see man has distorted God’s word because they don’t really want to hear God’s word. People are content with this diluted version of God’s word and do not seek him. They do not seek him because they are not taught to. They are taught all is well but the land lies desolate. God does not change so from the beginning with satan, Adam and Eve and Israel in the Promised land, God expects obedience to his word, not man’s. Nothing has changed as Jesus said we are to teach everyone to obey. That means the whole counsel not just what our theology states.
So what happens if we don’t teach the gospel? Isaiah 1:4 “Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. 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.” Last week we talked about the sin of those who have gone before us. The sin talked about is not following God’s word and following mans ways. During the Harvest America event with Greg Laurie there was a total attendance of 284,647 with 7538 professions of faith. Other than being drawn by a free concert, what have they been saved into? They will continue in the ways the empty ways they are being taught. 2 Chronicles 29:6 “Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him.” Nehemiah 9:26 “But they were disobedient and rebelled against you; they turned their backs on your law. They killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies. Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen.” Zechariah 7:11 “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. 12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry. 13 “‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the Lord Almighty. 14 ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land they left behind them was so desolate that no one traveled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.”
So here we sit in a desolate land. I know it seems harsh but it has to be as your eternal life depends on it. Those who went before us have not acted in accordance with the word of God. We have not been trained for battle and because of our wicked ways we are being defeated one generation after the other, yet most Christians will not repent. They are happy with their little plastic swords, and flimsy armor. As Casting Crowns wrote in Stained Glass Masquerade, “Are we happy plastic people, Under shiny plastic steeples.” They are happy with man’s word yet continue to shout crucify him by their unbelief and continue to say Isaiah 30:11 “Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” This is where we are at, the walls are broken down the gates are burned. We are in trouble and disgraced.
But the time is now to turn from our wicked ways and rebuild on the rock. We are in our war of deception for our very life both present and eternal. The sad part is most Christians do not fear standing before the Almighty God. Yes they fear dying but they don’t even think for a moment that something is wrong. They have not followed God’s word but man’s word and then they expect God to bless them and welcome them. That is not going to happen. So now we are at war. There is a great battle ahead of us but as God told Joshua do not be afraid. Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 10:8 “The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” Joshua 1:7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
As we prepare to take the land do we really know who the enemy is? Matthew 13:24 “Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
We live in days of massive deception. When you look to go to war, do you know who it is you are going to war with? Yes obviously it is satan but is it really that obvious? The enemy has infiltrated our ranks. It is not as simple as oh there he is the guy with the red cape and horns. It is not as simple as they wear this uniform and we wear this one and we stand and shoot each other. In many wars especially today it is very difficult to tell who the enemy is. You cannot tell by nationality, man women or child, it is war. It is not as simple as going to church or listening to the person at the front or singing songs. Are the ones leading sheep or wolves? Is it man’s word or God’s word? Is there truth or falseness? Is the bible really guiding everything? Sure they say it is and that one always makes me smile. Do you realize the enemy has infiltrated the church and we are in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy? The enemy is among us so we need to be prepared to fight. The only way to win is to be on the right side of the blessings and curses, which means we must follow wholeheartedly. If not we loose. If we do God will empower us. Psalm 144:1 says “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” This Psalm also goes on to say. 7 “Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners 8 whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. 9 I will sing a new song to you, my God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, 10 to the One who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David. From the deadly sword 11 deliver me; rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.”
Have you noticed this is a common theme, lying and deceit? Talk about friendly fire. Those who are shaking your hand are stabbing you in the back with the other. These are so called Christians I am talking about. These lies do not come from God but the Devil. Do you know who you are at war with? The enemy is the father of lies and he is Revelation 12:9 “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. John 8:42 “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” Revelation 12:9 “The accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” There is deception everywhere.
In Revelation 12:11 “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;” Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. This enemy cannot be fought against with the weapons of man. This is spiritual warfare. Revelations 12 said he lost the battle in heaven and was thrown to earth. But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.” Satan is fighting against you so stand firm and do not be deceived. Matthew 24:10 “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Do you really think this battle can be won with clever business plans and programs and technology? Do you really think we can copy a Fortune 500 business model to defeat satan. Yes we have talked about the false prophets and their teachings but one that has infiltrated across most denominations is the desire to make something happen on our own. Saul was told to wait but when he saw the enemy advance and his men scatter in fear he decided to go ahead and take things in hand. He offered the sacrifice thus disobeying a direct command. Most want to make something happen in their churches. If we do this and this our church will grow and in some cases it does work and for those where it does work, they make a lot of money selling their wares to others who want to be like them. Again this formula is a business model that looks powerful but one where there is no power whatsoever as it is only producing a form of godliness, denying the power as they do it and only advancing against flesh and blood and not spiritual warfare. God did not forget to add a model of church growth in the New Testament. We are only successful when we follow God’s plan not man’s plan. Remember a full church does not mean filled with the Holy Spirit. There has to be power manifested as described in the gospels and 1 Corinthians 12. Without the Holy Spirit we just have a group of people celebrating what they think is the gospel only to be deceived by it.
Do you know you the enemy is?1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” We cannot destroy the devil work without the power of the Holy Spirit but most seem content to try. The other problem is they have been deceived into thinking they do have the power as the song suggested yet there are no results of this power. Paul said Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Scripture is very clear that this is not a battle we can win on our own. “12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The only way we can be strong is in His mighty power.
What has angered God is the rejection of His word. Yes they embrace some of it but not all of it. Those who have gone before us have only handed down delusion and deception. When someone is saved or committed to a church they are saved into that particular set of beliefs and ways of doing things such as no power gifts and premellenialism for one. When a person feels the call to ministry they usually have to be ordained and then they are asked if they will teach the distinctives of the particular faith. For example the United Methodist church asks “Are you resolved to devote yourself wholly to God and his work? Do you know the General Rules of our Church? Will you keep them? Have you studied the doctrines of The United Methodist Church? After full examination, do you believe that our doctrines are in harmony with the Holy Scriptures? Will you preach and maintain them? Have you studied our form of Church discipline and polity? Do you approve our Church government and polity? Will you support and maintain them?” So they continue in mans way with each denomination or church group doing the same thing but all teaching something different.” The same happened in my process with the Wesleyan church. 5. The basic theological beliefs of The Wesleyan Church are stated in our Articles of Religion (paragraphs 210-250 in The Discipline). As you know, these deal with the nature of God, the authority of the Scriptures, the sanctity of marriage, human free will and depravity, the atonement, justification, sanctification. the gifts of the Spirit, the nature of the Church, the sacraments, and human destiny. Are you committed to all of the Articles of Religion of The Wesleyan Church? What is your personal theology as it relates to the place of the Scriptures in personal and corporate life? the believer's security in Christ? entire sanctification? spiritual gifts?” So you see the empty way continues when you sign your name on the dotted line. So what is more important the book of discipline or the bible. That is a dangerous question that most do not want to confront because for most the handbook is is their bible.
So instead of arming us with God’s word, they have armed us with mans word about God’s word and placed it about scripture so that they can be distinct in their beliefs. These distinctions are deception that have led people astray. Actually they have negated God’s word. Mark 7:13 “Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” The wicked and empty ways handed down to us have left us without weapons. The gates of hell are prevailing and we have been taken into captivity all the while every Sunday God is praised yet the church sits in desolation and powerless to defeat the true enemy. It is even taught that this is how it is. Remember most of what is happening in the church is happening outside the church. There are really great people who are far better than those who attend church, there are those healed of cancer who don’t go to church, alcoholics who have not had a drink but do not credit it to God. and large groups of people who gather in stadiums. The concert atmosphere of church makes it pretty easy to fill a building these days but there is someone else that has entered the building in many forms. 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.”
Can you tell the difference when you go to war. If you battle in your own strength you will loose. Solomon asked for discernment a so should we because we need it in the worst way. Now having said this about those who have gone before us, we are responsible ourselves to put on the full amour of God and to stand firm on God’s word. There are no excuses. Scripture makes it clear that all we have to do is turn from our wicked ways and humbles ourselves and God will hear our cry. 1 Kings 8:33 “When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, 34 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.” Yes we have been handed down weapons that have no affect on the enemy. Yes we have been led down an empty way. Yes most have no idea and like Judges 2:10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.” Yes it is desolate and yes there is but a remnant of people left who have not turned away from God’s word and yes there is hope in the midst of deception in the midst of war we will be victorious but we must stand on the Rock.