Every year dates on the calendar come and go and as the years go by they seem to come and go faster and faster. Most people outside the church think this is just the way it is until they die and then another generation takes over and continues in their futile thinking. They say 1 Corinthians 15:32 “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Scripture tells us Luke 17:26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— 30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” So just like in the days of Noah and Lot the end is drawing near, except there will be no more earth as we know it and eternity will begin. Peter tells us that even those who are supposed to know better, question the end. 2 Peter 3:3 “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” 

        The truth is there will be an end to the world as we know it and to all who believe, eternal life and to those who do not, eternal damnation. This life is only temporary, and it is very short compared to the promise God has given us of eternal life. Jesus said 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.” The Christian life really is simple if we follow and obey God’s word. Luke 11:28 Jesus replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” We are supposed to live for Jesus in the power and authority He gave us, and we then go out in that power and authority and teach others to do the same and so on and so on and so on. Matthew 24:14 “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.” While at this time our bodies still die, we will never die if we truly believe. So in essence, eternal destination has already begun depending on whether or not you believe Jesus. Paul said 1 Corinthians 15:55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Not only did Jesus say about this life John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full / abundantly,” Jesus told us we would live forever if we believed. Jesus said John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” This is the basic tenet of Christianity, so most will say they do believe but as we have seen, most who call themselves Christians have been deceived by other gospels, so they don’t actually believe. Because of unbelief and rebellion, death still stings, and eternal life is replaced with eternal damnation because unbelief has brought condemnation from God. This has happened because the church refuses to believe God at His word. This rebellion has led to the powerless and captive church, the abomination that causes desolation. 

        This was not how it was supposed to be. Jesus came to give life in abundance and in doing so, He also defeated satan and gave us the same power to continue destroying his work. 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.” Many have mistakenly believed that the power of satan was over, and his presence was no longer felt. Yes, Jesus defeated satan at the cross, but we were supposed to continue in that work until that day when satan is destroyed once and for all. Revelation 20:9 “fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelation tells us Revelation 12:12 “But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” He wants to take as many as he can with him.  Matthew 25:41 “Then he (Jesus) will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Even hell on earth does not compare to this eternal damnation because there will be no presence of God whatsoever. You do not want to spend your eternity there, but you will if you do not turn from your wicked and empty ways. Until that final day, the church was supposed to go out in the power and authority that comes with being clothed with power from on High and continue to destroy the devil’s work. Instead, the church decided to ignore God’s word and do it ourselves, which is futile.

        This Wednesday is the start of Lent. I like to take this opportunity the calendar gives us to focus on a topic for the 46 days which take us to Easter. Having said that the church is supposed to be Christmas, Easter and Pentecost together, not just on one day of the year on a calendar but every day. Our theme this year is “A Call To…” and each Sunday I will talk about a different call and then expand that call through the week. To call means “a cry made as a summons or to attract someone's attention.” This can be taken three ways, but they go together. The first is calling out to God and the second is a calling out to the church to return to God. Once that happens, we call out to the lost by preaching the good news. God is our only hope, so we call out to Him. David said in Psalm 3:1 “Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4 I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 8 From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.” We too must call out like the blind man called out to Jesus. Luke 18:35 “As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” It is obvious that when you are in trouble or want something, you call out. Usually, not that it doesn’t happen, you don’t see people walking about calling out for help when they don’t need help. Calling out for help signals to others that you are in need. Calling out to God tells Him we need help. Calling out to God also means we will turn from our wicked ways.

        The problem the church is facing, due to the deception and delusion that has decimated the church, most who call themselves Christians do not know that they should be calling out to God to save them. They have been deceived into thinking this is how the church is and how it will continue, but that is the lie. The church keeps following empty ways and other gospels, all the while expecting God to bless them. The desperation that should be felt today should be the same as when Peter spoke after Pentecost and said to the people listening, Acts 2:40 “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” The people who listened to Peter said, “Brothers, what shall we do?” because they were cut to the heart. They had understood that Acts 2:36 “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” Others instead Acts 2:13 “however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

        While you have these two extremes, even in the church today, the church is filled with lukewarm people. The church is also filled with stiff-necked, stubborn and obstinate people. The lukewarm are not going to call out to God as they are very comfortable with their lives and do not want the status quo to be upset. Many will be shocked to hear Jesus say 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.” You then have those who are totally committed to the empty ways they have been taught and think they are on fire for God but at the same time will not cry out to God because they think they do not have to. They have mistaken their commitment to church doctrine / theology with surrendering wholeheartedly to Jesus Christ. Instead, when told, they will act and respond very similarly to when Stephen was killed. He preached 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. 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.”

        As you can see, the world we live in is in chaos. There is a global pandemic that doesn’t seem to be going away. As time has gone by, this pandemic has brought to the surface those who seemed to have lost any shred of common sense. Many have blamed the government for these last two years for their disrupted lives yet ignore the fact that the government does not control the pandemic. They have only been trying to save lives and yes there has been a great cost and inconvenience. People from all walks of life have bought into conspiracy theories and not only has this pandemic caused separation of families and friends for health reasons but now the belief in conspiracies has also caused separation. As you are also well aware, there is war taking place and talks of war in different parts of the world but specifically now in the Ukraine. Here you are seeing a dictator in action. Not only do you have dictators, but you also have wanna be dictators like Trump praising the genius of Putin. Wars have been happening throughout the ages just as Jesus said. Matthew 24:6 “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Jesus started this passage off by saying “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” So even though all these things Jesus mentioned would happen, He warned us not to be deceived. Now obviously war is hard to ignore especially if it is happening where you live, but Jesus was saying there is something worse. As Jesus continued, He talked about the abomination that causes desolation spoken of through the prophet Daniel. Matthew 24:21 “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 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. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.” While war, earthquakes and famine are all horrible, nothing compares to what has happened in the church, which has affected the whole world. Now there is only a remnant of the church left.

        The church was warned but like Israel did not listen, so instead of doing as Jesus did and continue to destroy the devil’s work, the church itself was destroyed but not completely due to God’s promise to David. Paul told us 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. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” We are not waiting for this abomination to start but to end, which is why we must turn from our wicked ways. Like other generations we are right back to crucifying Jesus all over again and Peter saying save yourself from this corrupt generation. This message has been for everyone since the time Peter said it. We are told Hebrews 10:26 “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” Many memorize John 3:16 but fail to keep reading. John 18:18 “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.” Hebrews 6:4 “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. 9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation.”

        You do not want to be part of that and there is hope but only if you turn away from wickedness. This wickedness is following other gods / other gospels, empty ways and changing the word of God to make it say what you want it to say. 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, (this has already happened. 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.) 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.” Those convicted said to Peter “Brothers, what shall we do?” and Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Thankfully this still applies to those who will turn from their wicked ways. The ways the church has decided to follow are wicked. Are you listening? You cannot follow other gospels and expect God to bless you, yet the church continues in this futile thinking. We were told Jeremiah 44:2 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins 3 because of the evil they have done. They aroused my anger by burning incense to and worshiping other gods that neither they nor you nor your ancestors ever knew. 4 Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!’ 5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods. 6 Therefore, my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruins they are today.” This describes what has happened to the church.

        This is a call to return to the beginning and start over. No not a return to the good ole days or back to the early days of your denomination but all the way back. You don’t have to go back in time but our only hope is to return to the word of God and turn away from the empty words of man and doctrines of demons that have so infiltrated the church. There is still time. Jesus said Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Jesus then showed us what the kingdom would look like and the power that went with it. The disciples were told to wait and be clothed with power from High and they also saw it. This was the church, yet the church promptly went their own way. This call to repent has been for everyone since. Each generation had the choice as to whether to heed the call to repent, as you only have your lifetime to repent. This is why the disciples preached with urgency that the end was coming. The message of the good news was supposed to continue to ring out and if the church had not so quickly turned away, the return of Jesus would have sped up. 2 Peter 3:11 “You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” As it is now, the church is in desolation because generations have come and gone but have not lived holy and godly lives. Yes, most think they have but as Paul told us 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. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” 

        This rebellion has been going on ever since. Jesus warned us not to be deceived, yet the church refused to obey God’s word and followed empty ways instead. As the generations have gone by, these empty ways were expanded and the church got further and further away from the truth. This lack of truth was due to the church’s rebellion so this happened. Daniel 8:11 “It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down. 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.” As you see today each man has their own version of the truth. 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.” Because of God’s amazing grace this time has been cut short or no one would have survived. This is what the church looks like today. Isaiah 1:7 “Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers. 8 Daughter Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a cucumber field, like a city under siege. 9 Unless the Lord Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.” Nehemiah 1:3 “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

        Even though God gave David a promise, He still hid His face. Ezekiel 39:23 “And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them.” The same has happened in the church today with the same results. Instead of God blessing us and giving us the power to destroy the works of the devil, the protection and power the church was given was removed and the church was defeated. God sent His Son to save us and dwell among us, but the church decided to do it themselves, so God turned His face. This is what God thinks about our amazing worship. Isaiah 1:12 “When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— 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!” Amos 5:21 “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. 23 Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.” Picture gathering every Sunday with uplifting worship and inspirational preaching and then reading what you just read. This is happening because the church has rebelled and followed other gospels, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In both those passages we are called to return. Amos said seek the Lord and live, seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. 15 Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.” Isaiah goes on to say Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; 20 but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Our only hope is to return to God’s word.

            Willingness seems to be where the problem lies, as most in the church are not willing to turn from their wicked ways simply because most do not believe their ways are wicked. They refuse to test the spirits probably because of what they will find. Sticking your head in the sand does not make the bible any less true. Even though their ways do not line up with scripture nor do they have power from on High, they still refuse to turn away. This is why these Old Testament passages are so important to grasp, as they also describe why the church is in desolation. Jeremiah 11:10 “They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words. They have gone after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their fathers.” Zechariah 7:11 “But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. 12 They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts. 13 “As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the Lord of hosts, 14 “and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate.” Jeremiah 7:23 “But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25 From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day. 26 Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.” Acts 7:39 “Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the works of their hands.” The church is still worshipping the god of what their hands have made.

        Everything we needed to carry on the work Jesus started was given to us at Pentecost. We even saw it in action but at the same time we saw the church crumbling because the church went their own ways. It was not because power was no longer available. Jesus warned us. Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Paul warned us. Acts 20:29 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” Peter warned us 2 Peter 3:16 “He (Paul) 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. 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. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” Jeremiah warned us 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?” This is all happening in the church.

        Even though the church is filled with false prophets and teachers, God’s word still holds true, so we have hope. Deuteronomy 32:47 “They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” Isaiah 55:10 “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” As John said you will either believe and be saved or not believe and be condemned. God’s word is truth, so we must listen very carefully. 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.” John 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” At Pentecost Acts 2:14 “Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.” Some did listen carefully and were saved. John was told Revelation 22:6 “The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place. 7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll. 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” 

        What have you heard? Are you sure it is the truth or just the distorted words of men and women about the truth? Take the time to make sure and test the spirits. The presence of God’s power is how you know. If the church was actually doing as Jesus commanded us to do, the church would look like the church Jesus started. We would be clothed with power from on High and we would go to the ends of the earth in that power; nothing could stop us. The words given to Joshua would also apply to the church as we took back the land. Joshua 1:3 “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory (the world now) will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 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.” Remember that satan also has power but it does not look like Jesus. Counterfeit is close but not real and many have been deceived by it 2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” As you test the spirits, your guidance must come from God’s word. Sometimes it is easy while other times you really have to listen carefully. 

        Our return to Jesus is our only hope. We were told Zechariah 14:9 “The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and His name the only name.” Ezekiel 37:24 “My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. 25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’” Peter said Acts 2:29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.” Ephesians 4:4 “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.” John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The sooner the church repents and returns to God’s word by obeying and following wholeheartedly, the sooner we can go to the ends of the earth in power. 2 Peter 3:9 “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.” Acts 1:8 “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.” Matthew 24:14 “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.”