As I have been thinking and writing about the kingdom of our Sovereign Lord, I thought about a song when I woke up this morning called “Majesty,” written by Jack Hayford. Like many songs they get used a lot and then others replace them and so on it goes. I have always loved music, but I can’t sing, still I love to listen when I’m riding my bike or in the car. I have put together many services with music, but I always found it interesting that you could have songs come from denominations, independents and the song would be theologically sound but the people who wrote and the group they were associated with, was not. You had that also with hymns. Overall some music was good while others was not.         As I have been thinking about the Lord God Almighty, our Sovereign king and how we need to be prepared to meet Him, when this song came up, I did some looking into the background of the song. This is not really about the song, but the beliefs of those behind the song. It is always important to test the spirits even if you like the song. I am not saying you can’t sing the song, just understand what is taking place in the background, so you are not deceived by those from where it came. Tomorrow I am going to talk about why at this time of desolation in the church, worship with song and music should be set aside. Paul gives us this instruction. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 “Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.” Having said that, there are songs I would no longer use that I have used in the past. The lyrics of this song is “Majesty, Worship His majesty, unto Jesus be all glory, honor and praise. [Verse 2] Majesty, kingdom authority flow from His throne, unto His own His anthem raise. So exalt, lift up on high the name of Jesus, magnify, come glorify, Christ Jesus the King [Verse 3] Majesty, worship His majesty Jesus who died, now glorified, King of all kings.” Yes, it is a powerful song and sung many times, which makes songs and where they come from difficult. You must make sure you understand where the authority is coming from and whose kingdom it is. Notice in the song it says authority flows to His own. Today there is a problem with authority and power not flowing but we see that satan also offers a different kind of authority that many have fallen for because they did not test the spirits. 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.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” You may be able to embrace the song but not those who wrote it but that takes discernment. Admittedly that poses a problem. If we embrace the song, those without discernment may also embrace those from where the song came from, thinking since the song sounds good, then so must be those from where the song came from. This is what was happening with Francis Chan. By associating with these other false leaders, he is saying to his listeners that they are men of God and he literally does say these are men of God, when they are not. His endorsement carries a lot of weight, and many people are and will be deceived. So while many think they are worshipping and praising God, they are not. Instead, they are following the ways of man, doctrines of demons, and other gospels. 

        Probably why this song came to mind, other than the talk about God’s sovereignty, is when I was researching Francis Chan and the false leaders he was endorsing, thus making himself false, one of the names that was praised in the conversation I was watching in the charismatic circles, was Jack Hayford who wrote Majesty. Jack Hayford (June 25, 1934 - January 8, 2023,) was Pentecostal and was a big part of the FourSquare Denomination, which is Pentecostal. While Hayford obviously endorsed all the teaching of the denomination, you have to go back further to the beginning and look at their founder, Aimee Semple McPherson (October 9, 1890 – September 27, 1944). Without going into a lot about her, she was a preacher, evangelist, faith healer and even started a massive church for the time in Jan. 1923 — First Foursquare church, Angelus Temple. I wanted to say that this is not about women in ministry. When they found the book of the law, Josiah sent them to inquire of the Lord. They went to 2 kings 22:14 “the prophet Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter.” Luke 2:36 “There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” So no this is not about women in ministry but there are women as there are men who should not be in ministry as they operate under the wrong spirit. (spirit of Jezebel) I would classify McPherson as not a prophet of God. Aimee Semple McPherson was the one who came up with the Foursquare gospel. “The four squares represent the four scriptural roles of Jesus as Savior, Baptizer with the Holy Spirit, Healer and Soon-Coming King.” The problem with this is that the name came from a sermon she was preaching on the vision of Ezekiel where he saw the living creatures with four faces. While she was preaching, she said “The whole tent was enveloped as I developed the exposition of God’s Word. It was as though every soul there was aquiver with the harmony of celestial music. In my soul was born a melody that seemed to strike and be sustained upon four full quivering strings, as I thought upon the vision of the prophet Ezekiel.I stood still for a moment and listened, gripping the pulpit, almost shaking with wonder and joy. Then there burst from the white heat of my heart the words: “Why—why, it’s the Foursquare Gospel. The Foursquare Gospel!” Instantly, the Spirit bore witness. Waves, billows, oceans of praises rocked the audience, which was borne aloft on the rushing winds of Holy Spirit revival.Since that day when the Lord gave me that illumination, the term “Foursquare Gospel” has been carried around the world, as vividly and fittingly distinguishing the message He had commissioned me to preach of Jesus the Savior, Jesus the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit, Jesus the Healer, and Jesus the Soon-Coming King.” 

        No, the Holy Spirit did not bear witness, but a spirit probably did. Actually, the bible says, it is just “this or the Gospel.” No help needed nor did it need to be renamed. Jesus said Matthew 24:11 “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. 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.” The gospel doesn’t need any help or God would have called it the Foursquare gospel. Revelation 22:18 “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.” Add to that all the other doctrines and theology they teach, you have other gospels. Paul said Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 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!”

        So here is the problem. Ezekiel starts off Ezekiel 1:1 “In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. 2 On the fifth of the month—it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin— 3 the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians.” They were in the land of the Babylonians. 2 Kings 24:8 “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan; she was from Jerusalem. 9 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father had done.” Jeremiah said Jeremiah 22:24 “As surely as I live,” declares the Lord, “even if you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off. 25 I will deliver you into the hands of those who want to kill you, those you fear—Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Babylonians. 26 I will hurl you and the mother who gave you birth into another country, where neither of you was born, and there you both will die. 27 You will never come back to the land you long to return to.” At the end of Jeremiah, we see Jeremiah 52:33 “Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table. 34 Day by day the king of Babylon gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived, till the day of his death.” He would never go home.

            We see that Ezekiel is an exile but here was the message God had given him, a message still applicable to today’s church. Ezekiel 2:3 “He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. 4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ 5 And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. 7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. 8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” These people are stubborn, obstinate and rebellious. Ezekiel 3:4 “He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. 5 You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— 6 not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. 8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9 I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.” 10 And he said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. 11 Go now to your people in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’ whether they listen or fail to listen.” God then shows him the destruction of Jerusalem because of their sin and the glory of the Lord departed from the temple (Ezekiel 10). Now if she had said this is the message from the Lord that would have made more sense. Rebellion against God means you want something different than what God is offering, which is exactly what she gave the people.

        Her sermon, as they still do 100 years later, think this was of God, but most of Ezekiel is about the rebellion of God’s people and final the destruction of Jerusalem. Ezekiel 4:1 “Now, son of man, take a block of clay, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. 2 Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it. 3 Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the people of Israel.” Yes, at the end of Ezekiel the glory of God returns but as we see, Zedekiah, king over Judah and Jerusalem, would be the final king and Judah was removed from the land because of their rebellion. 2 Chronicles 36:15 “The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. 18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there. 20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.” That is not the kingdom we want to be part of.

        We have talked a lot about the abomination that causes desolation and the destruction of the church. There is extensive deception happening where whole denominations, like this one has been deceived and there are many. 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.” Daniel 11:36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.” 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.” What you see with Foursquare is part of it, but this destruction is happening not only in the charismatic circles but the non-charismatic just in differing ways.” False teaching is everywhere. When looking at the history of Foursquare, and sister Aimee Semple McPherson, you just say wow but not in a good way, Her life was bizarre; divorces, strange disappearance and died of an overdose. 

        Also, when you have other false prophets endorsing you, those are some pretty strong warnings signs. I watch a video of Katherine Kuhlman (scary) praising Aimee Semple McPhersonI then watched a video of Benny Hinn praising Kuhlman. Then you will have others saying the same about Hinn. When you look at the teaching of this Foursquare denomination, from tongues, faith healing, to end times theology, that also shows you the deception taking place. Like other organizations, they have trained people and have sent missionaries all over the world and the deception spreads. My response is not that I am against the power and authority of Jesus Christ, I am waiting for God to turn His face back to the church and restore its power and authority. When it does, it will look like this. 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.” My response is against false teachers and false gospels. It will only be when the true power of the Lord God Almighty returns that we will see the true gospel being preached and yes dry bones will come to life and the glory of God will return to His people, the temple where His presence dwells, not a building. On a side note, churches should not be calling their buildings temples.

             So what does all this have to do with a song. We have been talking about our King and His sovereign power, but our praise has to be to the One True God, not the one masquerading as an angel of light. You do not want to have anything to do with the authority and power satan wants to give you, yet many have fallen for it. The deception is so great that whole denominations like these and many like them have been deceived. When they teach and preach, they fully believe they speak the words of God, but these are a rebellious people. I am amazed that after 100 years Aimee Semple McPherson is still front and centre. When you read Jeremiah, I find it interesting that while he was prophesying truth, there were those around him and Ezekiel, prophesying lies. Jeremiah 28:15 “Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies. 16 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die, because you have preached rebellion against the Lord. 17 In the seventh month of that same year, Hananiah the prophet died.” These prophets like McPherson and others have persuaded many to trust in lies. 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” Then Jeremiah prophesied the return to the Promised land after 70 years. After he said Jeremiah 29:19 “you exiles have not listened either,” declares the Lord. 20 Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you in my name: “I will deliver them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will put them to death before your very eyes. 22 Because of them, all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon will use this curse: ‘May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned in the fire.’ 23 For they have done outrageous things in Israel; they have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and in my name they have uttered lies—which I did not authorize. I know it and am a witness to it,” declares the Lord.”

        So when you hear this song and sing it, make sure you understand who the true King of kings is and are not deceived. Jesus warned us about the end times and said Matthew 24:4 “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” When they stand and say the Spirit of the Lord confirmed what I just said like Aimee Semple McPherson did, they are saying someone different is the Messiah, so be warned and listen carefully to what you think you believe. We are told in John that Jesus said John 4:24 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 15:26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.” 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.” As I said it was not the words of the song but the story behind it, so be careful and test the spirits. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”