Call to Worship: 1 Chronicles 16:35 “Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.”
    Songs: Praise to the King - Steve Green  
    King of Glory -  Passion & Kristian Stanfill      
    You Are Holy (Prince of Peace) -   Michael W. Smith       
    Scripture:   Isaiah 60
    Song:  Send the Fire - Nashville Singers
    Sermon     Living Proof - Sanctification
    Closing Song:  Holy Spirit Rain Down -  Hillsong
    Benediction:   1 Thessalonians 5:23 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
    Sermon: Living Proof – Sanctified
                This is our fourth Sunday on our journey to Pentecost. The last few blogs have been focusing on the living proof of Jesus Christ. The proof of his existence is that we are to be sanctified or clothed with the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit. To be sanctified is to be set apart, to be holy and made perfect before God by being anointed by the Holy Spirit and clothed with power. This is not something man can do in their own strength, which is why we desperately need God to anoint us. Hannah prayed 1 Samuel 2:8 “For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; on them he has set the world. 9 He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. It is not by strength that one prevails; 10 those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.” Samuel anointed Saul even though he would later turn away. 1 Samuel 10:1 “Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance? 6 The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” After Saul turned away, Samuel anointed David to replace Him. 1 Samuel 16:13 “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.”
                God’s anointing empowers us and makes us part of His kingdom. Leviticus 20:24 “But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations.” Leviticus 20:26 “You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.” You cannot be holy on your own. Moses was told in Exodus 19:5 “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Revelation 1:5 “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” Revelation 5:9 “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Revelation 11:15 “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
                The church does not represent this kingdom nor does it offer any proof that Jesus is who He says He is. This pandemic exposed the church for what it is, powerless and empty, naked and ashamed. The kind of explosive power of the Holy Spirit we talked about in the blog yesterday cannot be manufactured on our own nor can holiness. We must be anointed by the Holy Spirit to go out in power. Growing up in a Methodist church and later becoming a pastor in that distinctive (no longer), entire sanctification was the pinnacle of the Christian life. It was talked about and expected but it was one of the most confusing and convoluted doctrines to follow (extremely complex and difficult to follow) . The reason for this confusion was there was no proof of its existence. As a pastor you were supposed to keep track of those entirely sanctified. Sure it was easy to keep track of those who were baptized because you could see a person get wet yet there was no proof of sanctification. That is why so much emphasis has been placed on baptism. This is also why most churches say when they were baptized they were filled with the Holy Spirit but where is the proof of that filling. Paul talks about this in Acts 19:1 “There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.” I remember saying I was entirely sanctified when I went to the altar and I heard others saying it but there was no proof. Where was the fruit and where were the gifts of the Spirit if God and Jesus dwelt in us and we were clothed with power? Most just ended up struggling like Paul describes in Romans 7:15 “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” They are then told that is normal Christianity. Normal Christianity is being clothed with power not emptiness and nakedness. Where was the power that flowed because we had been set apart to be a kingdom of priests. Why if we had been filled with the Holy Spirit were we not doing as Jesus did?
                The bottom line is there is no proof because it has not been happening. God has turned his face away from the church and the power of His presence has been removed because of our disobedience. This is why we continue to wait for God to fill us with His Spirit again and clothe us with His power. This is why we have turned from the teachings of man. The “K” in The Rock stands for kingdom of priests. Even though we have not yet seen the power flow, we have repented, we stand on God’s word and we wait for the kingdom to come near. Jesus said Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
                Paul said 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This can only happen by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This can only happen by repenting and turning from our wicked ways. When we do this that will mean God will dwell in us. Ephesians 2:22 “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Then the power that raised Jesus from the dead will be upon us just as it was at Pentecost. The church has been going through the motions yet denying God’s power. I listened to a sermon the other day from a group who say they are the chosen way, yet there is no proof of power. Like most churches, they refuse to repent and turn from their wicked ways. satan has infiltrated the church and from the pulpits he teaches that power has ceased. From other pulpits satan teaches this empty and pathetic way is just how it is supposed to be, while in the congregations people are lulled to sleep with an empty gospel which is totally void of power. Wake up church those are not men of God. satan doesn’t want you to have the power that will defeat him because he knows what will happen when we are clothed with power. With God’s power in us we will go and do as Jesus did. 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.”
                This is spiritual warfare but not a war of flesh and blood. We must be clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit if we are going to win that war and defeat satan. Psalm 81:13 “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, 14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! 15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. 16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” Obviously we have not been filled as the church stands defeated, desolate and in captivity. This has happened because the church turned away from God’s word and the truth is no longer present. Jesus said John 17:15 “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” Paul said to the Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13 “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” The power to change lives is missing, so much so the church has adapted to their powerlessness and now calls their sin holy. Paul describes some of this sin when he said 1 Corinthians 6:9 “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.” There must be power to be sanctified.
                If you have been reading the blogs this week, there has been a lot of emphasis of bread and for good reason; it’s awesome to make your own bread. We’ve made bread successfully and made some unsuccessfully but it is fun to try especially during these days. But really we are not talking about the bread you eat but the bread of life, Jesus. We are not really talking about the power of yeast but the power of the Holy Spirit. John 6:35 “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” The last few blogs have been focusing on the living proof of this power. We talked about the explosive power of yeast both good and bad and proofing the yeast to make sure it is doing its job. If the yeast is good, the bread will rise. When you use yeast, you expect the bread to rise. That’s just how it works You don’t use yeast and then think to yourself, I really would like a brick instead of a nice light and fluffy loaf. When you use yeast you expect your English muffins to look like the ones on the video, You don’t expect them to be dense and heavy. We should also expect the church to be powerful. We should expect the church to look like the New Testament church but the strange thing is that the church has become content in their powerlessness. There is no proof of God’s power.
                Like the yeast, Jesus gave proof that He was alive. The church should continue in this proof. Not only is the living word of God proof, there should also be the proof of power as described in God’s word. We can say yes we have this word in our hands but if there is no power something is wrong. Just to say He is risen is different than seeing the results. Just as when we talked of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un possibly being dead as the media was saying. The easiest way to prove life was to appear alive. A picture doesn’t really do that nor does an empty tomb. There would always be questions. The bible could say he has risen and sits at the right have the father and the bible can even say he appeared but where is the proof? When Jesus appeared he gave proof of life and he also empowered his disciples to go and do as he did. Acts 1:3 “After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” Mark 16:9 “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. 14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well. 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
                Jesus proved to everyone that He lives and his disciples did also. As we talked about, it is important to understand that even back then, they knew what dead meant. When Jesus raised Lazarus, he was dead not sleeping. Both sisters had said, John 11:32 “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” But Martha also said John 11:22 “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” John 11:25 “Jesus said to her, “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?” As He approached the tomb John 11:38 “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” So yes they knew when someone was dead. But do you believe that God will hear you when you cry out to him?
                We also saw something absolutely amazing and that was not only the resurrection of Jesus but others who had died were raised and yes, dead was dead. Matthew 27:51 “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” Just as you expect bread to rise with yeast, when we talk about Jesus, you expect explosive power to be present. This resurrecting power is the power we are talking about today and this is the power that should be expected in the church as proof that Jesus lives because the bible says so and tell us why it is lacking. If we are truly sanctified,       there will be incomparably great power present in the church. Paul said in Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” This power that raised Jesus from the dead and raised Lazarus back to life and the power that raised the holy people after Jesus rose is the same power available to all who believe. This incomparably great and explosive power is available to us if we would return to God. This is what every Christian should expect to be part of but that is not what we have seen.
                There is a song called “Same Power” by Jeremy Camp. I would love to use this song during our service but at this point the words of this song are not happening. The problem is the power talked about is available; we just don’t have it. The song says “The same power that rose Jesus from the grave, The same power that commands the dead to wake, Lives in us, lives in us, The same power that moves mountains when He speaks, The same power that can calm a raging sea, Lives in us, lives in us, He lives in us, lives in us.” Prove it! If the same power lives in us then we would be doing what Jesus did. It is like singing He Lives, he’s in my heart today. Prove it! If the Holy Spirit has filled everyone who say they believe, then where is this same power? The answer is simple. Just look around. It is not here because the church refused to stop listening to God’s word and ignored the warnings but instead listened to the yeast of the Pharisees and followed satan by going their own ways.
                The power of sanctification was removed because the church turned away just as Daniel saw and Jesus warned. satan has set up his throne in the temple and reigns in the church. The temple is not a building though you would never know it with all the churches there are who put all their emphasis and money on the building. Romans 1:25 “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” Paul said Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything.” The new temple, the new Jerusalem is the body of Christ. This is how it is supposed to be. Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” This is what happens when Jesus lives in our heart. If Jesus lives there, then God also dwells in us. If Jesus and God have made their home in us, then the Holy Spirit will also dwell and there will be power. 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.” 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” John 14:23 “Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of 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. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.” 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. 12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.”
                If the Holy Spirit is dwelling in us, we will see the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit in full operation. Can you imagine a church with this happening? Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Paul said Romans 7:24 “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” 1 Corinthians 12:7 “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. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” Hebrews 2:4 “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” God wants His full power to be present in our lives. His power is proof that Jesus resurrected from the dead. It is not just talk as Paul said. 1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” This is what a sanctified church looks like.
                The proof the living word is living and present in our hearts will be power but that is not the case as the church decided almost immediately to go their own way and turn from the word of God just as Israel did. Paul said in 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.” This happened right away and the church has been going downhill and backwards ever since. Jeremiah 7:24 “But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.” 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.” 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?”
                God has let this rebellion go and millions have fallen from their secure positions because they listened to the yeast of the Pharisees. 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.” The church did not listen and was carried away by the error of the lawless and rebelled against God. The rebellion Paul talked about has already happened. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 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.” The church has been deceived by satan and under delusion brought on by God. “5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. 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.” It is only by God’s grace that there is hope of survival. Jesus told us that Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”
                All this should not surprise us as we were warned all of this would take place but the church did not listen. Instead listened to the yeast of the Pharisees and the false teachers and prophets. Their leader is satan and today behind the pulpits of the church are his minions. We also have antichrists throughout the church leading people away from the power Jesus has for his church. They will tell you there is no power available. Others will tell you the power they have is from God but they have not tested the spirits. If they had discernment they would realize the source of their power is satan. Some will say the power ceased while others will lead you down an empty and powerless path and teach you to sit idly until Jesus comes. 2 Timothy 3:1 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 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.” Those times have been here for a long time. We were warned 1 John 2:18 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” If that was the last hour, we are minutes away. Romans 13:11 “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”
                Daniel was told about the future and the future has been here for some time but man interpreted with their own eyes and the church was led astray. We were warned when he was told in 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. 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people? 27 I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.” 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.”
                Not only were we warned in Daniel, Jesus warned us also. The problem is because God has turned his face from shining on us we have lost understanding. We talked earlier about the available power of the Holy Spirit but the Holy Spirit will also bring truth. 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.” Since God has turned His face and brought delusion on the church, there is a lack of understanding and faulty interpretation that has caused our downfall and desolation. This is why there is so much confusion in the church. Recently I was looking into the Church of God. I took a quick peek at the Church of God on Wikipedia. There should be one Church of God right? It seems God is really confused as to what His church looks like. In these churches you have everything from cult, to legalism, to we the chosen, each with immeasurable differences. But this is what happens when God turns his face and truth is thrown down as we just read in 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.” So how could this be? I used one example of a name of church and the differences but when you look at all the churches there are you should feel sick to your stomach once you realized you have been deceived. I am not going to list them nor have I counted them all but all you have to do is look at the differences in the churches in your own town or city. You can also look at this page on Wikipedia – “List of Christian denominations by number of members” If you look at the chart on the site you will see a straight line at the beginning that exploded into different beliefs. This was not the yeast mixing into a large amount of flour but the yeast of the Pharisees. That will help you understand why truth has been thrown down. You will also that there is no power especially now with this pandemic taking place which in turn will help you understand why there is no anointing of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah talks about rebellion when he said Isaiah 1:2 Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand. 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!
                Jesus also warned us this would happen. When they asked Jesus Matthew 24:3 “what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?,” the answer was simple. Jesus said, “Watch out that no one deceives you.” He also said Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them.” Peter said, 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” Paul said Acts 20:29 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.” Lamentations 2:14 “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading.” Jeremiah 14:14 “Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” 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.”
                We were warned over and over all through scripture yet the church refused to listen and now refuses to repent. Each group believes they have the way yet there is no proof of resurrection power. As Isaiah said there is great hope of power and authority returning to the church. We have always been given a choice to obey or disobey. 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.” The true church, the remnant will rise again from the ashes in power. Isaiah 61:3 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor  and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion. When you see those amazing sunrises and sunsets, know that god is faithful to David and will keep His promise to Him. There will always be a remnant and that remnant will once again go out clothed in the power of the Holy Spirit. Just as Israel was freed from Babylon, our enemy satan will be brought down. Isaiah 13:19 “Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the pride and glory of the Babylonians, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah.” Isaiah 14:4 “you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!” Isaiah 21:9 “Look, here comes a man in a chariot with a team of horses. And he gives back the answer: ‘Babylon has fallen, has fallen! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the ground!’”
               Because God is faithful to David, we too can be comforted with hope that God will once again sanctify us through and through. Ezra 9:8 “But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.” God says Isaiah 40:1 “Comfort, comfort my people, 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 44:23 “Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the Lord has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel. 24 “This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself, 25 who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, 26 who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’ 27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’ 28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.” Isaiah 55:12 “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
                As we read earlier Isaiah 60:15 “Although you have been forsaken and hated, with no one traveling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations.” Because of our wickedness, we are so undeserving of God’s grace and compassion but God is merciful if we turn back to Him. Isaiah 54:7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer.  Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” When God turns His face back to us, what we read in the bible becomes the church once again. There will once again be proof that Jesus lives. It is not just a story but an account of the available power for those who believe. We have spent generations listening to the yeast of the Pharisees but ignored the miracles of the basketfuls of left over bread. The power of the kingdom of God was traded for what their own hands can make. Jeremiah 2:13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” We know that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces so man’s hand cannot defeat satan nor can it do what Jesus did. When we return to God and turn from our wicked ways, we will once again go out clothed in power instead of being naked and ashamed. We will once again be sanctified.
                The church for generations has followed man and paid an enormous price for it just as Israel did. We read about Israel so we can learn but the church refuses to listen. The problem like this virus is you can’t see it till it is too late. The church has been deceived and will stand before Jesus only to hear away from me I don’t know you but that was not God’s plan for the church. The church was to go out sanctified in the authority and power of Jesus name to the ends of the earth and speed up His coming but instead we followed the power of the false teachers and prophets only to end up in desolation. Because of God’s mercy and grace, that same power that raised Jesus is available to all who believe. Once again Jesus will send out His servant to all the world and they will know that Jesus lives. When the Jews were saved in Esther many joined them. God had turned the tables on their enemies and saved them from destruction. Esther 8:17 “In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.” Ananias and Saphira were just struck down because they lied to the Holy Spirit. Acts 5:12 “And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.” We also saw this with Paul when they burned the scrolls in Acts 19. 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.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” That was supposed to be just the beginning. When Jesus sent out His disciples in power that was what we were also supposed to continue to do. Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.” John the one who prepared the way of the Lord, the one who said, John 1:29 “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, was questioning if Jesus was the Messiah. Matthew 11:4 “Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
                Jesus came to show us what to do so that we could go and do as He did. We too will be the proof of His resurrection. John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” This si what Jesus did. 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.” This is what the church did. Acts 5:12 “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” Then we see Paul Acts 19:11 “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left 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.” Isaiah 53:4 “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Do we no longer have those afflicted with sickness and diseases? Do we no longer have people who need to be freed who are tormented by evil spirits? I believe you know the answer to that. Yet the church seems to think everything is the way it should be. Isaiah 64:5 “You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? 6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. 7 No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins.”
                Isaiah was told Isaiah 6:10 “Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” The church is dull and has closed their eyes. There is a famine in the church of hearing God’s word but 2 Chronicles 7:14 “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.” Matthew 14:14 “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”
                This sermon is called “Living Proof – Sanctification”. Unfortunately the church cannot have this gift because we have turned away from God’s ways to go our own ways. To be sanctified means we have been anointed and clothed in power. It really is not that complicated. We must do as we are commanded.  Paul tells us 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.” The gospel of Jesus Christ is powerful. Are there sick today? Are there broken? Are there those in despair, depressed etc? Are there evil spirits? Is satan prowling like a lion to devour? The church is to be the proof of Jesus in our communities. This isn’t about getting someone to church so they can follow your particular set of beliefs; this is about the kingdom of God. Jesus sent out His disciples to heal the sick, cast out demons and proclaim the kingdom of God. Luke 10:17 “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” The proof was the demons submitted. Where is that proof today? We were given this instruction because this is what was supposed to happen. James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” For this to happen the church has to have the power of God once again. Because we are not seeing this happen many in the church have adopted this pathetic view as Christianity, meanwhile the churches are filled with the sick, and tormented souls. The church looks like the world. This pandemic has shown the world the church, as we know it today is totally different than the church Jesus started but it doesn’t have to stay that way. We were called to go out into the world clothed with power and heal the sick cast out demons and proclaim the kingdom of God. We were to continue the ministry Jesus started. Paul said Acts 26:16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Jesus gave proof of His power through Paul. Acts 19:11 “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” We were called to be servants of the living God, to go into all the world and preach the true gospel. The only way for that to happen is to be filled with the Holy Spirit with proof of resurrection power. Isaiah 42:1 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. 2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. 3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; 4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.” 5 This is what God the Lord says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: 6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. 8 “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. 9 See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”
    2 Thessalonians 2:15 “So then, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”
                 We must return to God’s word and turn away from the words of man. Matthew 24:4 “Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 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. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 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. 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."