Call to Worship: Psalm 33
Songs: Let the Praises Ring Travis Cottrell
Rise Up and Praise Him Women of Grace
Sing Your Praise to the Lord Rich Mullins
Scripture: Deuteronomy 7
Song: Life of Praise Casting Crowns
Sermon: “By the Word of the Lord”
Closing Song: Your Words (feat. Harvest) Third Day
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. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
Sermon: By the Word of the Lord
Last week we talked about blaming God for our problems. As we saw, it is not God’s fault nor his word powerless but because have rejected his word and have not obeyed the words of his book and we have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us,” and we have replaced his word with our own making ourselves to be gods, we no longer have His power among us. We do not serve a powerless God. So we have started over by going back to the beginning and expecting the same to happen as it did at Pentecost. To most this is foolishness because it does not line up with what they were taught so they continue to go through this life defeated by satan. So instead of asking God to pour out his Spirit among us they day that Pentecost was a one time event and the other times were in different regions. They quench the Holy Spirit by their teaching. Finding out at the end is not the time to find out that you were on the wrong track, so we wait on God to fulfill his promises to us just as He said He would. Jesus said in Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Later in Acts 1:4 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 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.” Peter said 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.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Nothing has changed to that promise, so we wait for the power promised if we are to save ourselves from this corrupt generation. We must wait on God to receive the promise of power. During these last months we have seen very specifically the false teachings of the rapture come to light and those who made their predictions proved false. He Isaiah 44:25 “foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense.” They will continue to be foiled until the end of time comes because what they teach does not come “by the word of the Lord.” Power does not follow. Jeremiah 23:32 “Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:8 “Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have.” But this will always come to an end and the truth sets us free. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 “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.” in Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 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.” This power that Paul refered to in his prayer created the heavens and earth and defeats satan and gives us life. Psalm 33:6 “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; He puts the deep into storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. 9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” Think of the power available to all who believe; power that comes just by the word of the Lord. But think about what is offered by those who teach there is no power. That is not what scripture says.
There is a power beyond anything we can imagine but there is a condition to this power. You must believe not in the empty paths but in the word of Lord by the word of the Lord. Jesus like the prophets said John 12:49 “I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” Paul said 1 Thessalonians 2:6 “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 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. When God created the world he spoke. When the prophets and apostles spoke it was by the word of the Lord. 2 Peter 2 “I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.” Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” If we are to call our selves Christians we must speak by the word of the Lord. And if you are called to teach by the word of the Lord you had better make sure it is by the word of the Lord. James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” All of the false prophets I have talked about in these past months all discredit the voice of the prophet both today and of old. They even say the prophet ceased to exist. This is saying God does not know what he is saying nor can he see the future. When the prophet speaks it is by the word of the Lord both then and now. Nothing new is added to scripture but by the word of the Lord these words written 2 Peter 1:21 “never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” are professed.
We must once again revere the word of the Lord as spoken by the Lord not man. Revere can be defined “regard with feelings of respect and reverence; consider hallowed or exalted or be in awe of.” Yes we read the bible aloud but these are not our words but God’s. We don’t add or subtract or nullify them. They don’t need any help. This is God speaking, the very God, the great King who created the heavens and the earth. When will we get it. Mans words don‘t bring life-everlasting, only the bread of life does that. John 6:63 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” Wow absolutely nothing has changed. Just as those who doubted when Jesus stood before them, there are those today who doubt the word of God. Jesus said John 20:26 “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” That is us by the way. One time Luke 11:27 “As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you. 28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
If we want to revere the Lord we must obey His word and hold it high. We must be in awe of God’s word. This is not a book. This is the very word of God. Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6 Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” Those who add and subtract will pay dearly. Look at what happened to Luke 11:47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48 So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.” Can you imagine what is in store today for those who are leading the church astray in our generation? Blackest darkness begins to describe it. 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.” We must revere and fear his word. We are surrounded with men and women who have no regard for the word of God. They do not fear and are unafraid of adding or subtracting or the consequences. With all that we have, with all who have gone before us, we have no excuse to be listening to these people and falling away. The word of God is available everywhere in abundance yet we are as far away as we have ever been. False prophets have desecrated God’s word and have left us in desolation. If this is going to change we must not only revere him we must also fear him. We must also demolish destroy and tear down. We read earlier in Deuteronomy 7:26 Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.” Josiah after hearing the word of the Lord and remember Josiah was prophesied about by the word of the Lord. After hearing from God he renewed the covenant. He said 2 Kings 23:1 “Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. 3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.” But not only did he renew it he acted and went and demolished and tore down.
If we want to live by the word, we must believe the word and live accordingly. Jesus did not die just so we could enjoy ourselves Sunday morning with others doing the same. He came to destroy the work of the devil. This is war. 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.” That is now our job in the power of the Holy Spirit. If God and Jesus are in us along with the power of the Holy Spirit, then we do what Jesus did under His authority. We are supposed to be anointed in power to carry out those same duties. That is why we were told to wait to be clothed with power. The Holy Spirit enables us to do what Jesus did. The remarkable thing about all this is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not as complicated as it has been made out to be. Wait. Be clothed with power. Go to the ends of the earth. Or don’t wait. No power and yes you can try to go but you are not building the kingdom of God. You are going in the flesh.
Psalm 33:8 said, “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him.” Well you know that is not happening and it is easy to see because there is no power available. No fear = no power! If we do not revere him, we will not serve Him nor will we submit to him. As time has gone by the church has drifted further and further from the truth with no effort to return to him. Yes there have been revivals and events such as 9/11 and people returned briefly but the impact wore off and people continued on the empty path. Proverbs 9:18 “But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.” Also as time has gone by, the words of men and women became predominant over scripture so that scripture became void. As this happened and we disobeyed, we lost the power that was available to us. Gideon summed it up when he said after Judges 6:12 the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Then Gideon answered “13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Why? Judges 6:7 “When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, 8 he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 9 I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.” Judges 2:10 “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.” The problem with us is we don’t know we should be in distress; that is how great the deception is. You don’t turn away if you are revering and fearing God.
I have to tell you I am so tired of hearing people say, “where is the power but refuse to repent and seek God with all they have. They say have you seen the miracles, signs wonders yet they are content to live without power. Most people in town when they loose power become very impatient and say when is the power coming back on but the church says this is how it is even though the bible says there is power available. The answer I give is no I have not seen but I read about the power in the word of God, the same word that created the heavens and the earth and nothing has changed. It doesn't matter whether you have seen them. The only thing that has changed is we have stopped obeying his word and we must return to him. This is why there are all these false gospels because most are just looking to be comfortable but not committed. I am not talking about committed to a program but to the maker of heavens and the earth and living your life by the word of the Lord. Isaiah 44:24 “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.” But the church has forgotten to fear the maker. Isaiah 51:13 “that you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretches out the heavens and who lays the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction?”
We are not talking about following an earthly leader, we are talking about following Jesus who conquered death and took its sting away, the king of Kings and Lord of Lords ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” 1 Corinthians 15:54 “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 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. 58 Therefore, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Revelation 15:3 “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. 4 Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
So I find it hard to believe how gullible we have been and turned away from the way the truth and the life. We have turned away from the promise of the gates of hell prevailing against us, so they will. Nehemiah 1:3 “They said to me, “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.” We have turned away from the power to defeat satan and stand firm against him and we are defeated. We have turned away from victorious living where no matter what our situation in life is we will have the joy of the Lord. As Paul said. Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.” John 10:9 “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right , whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 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.”
When the entered the land and appointed a king he was given instructions. Deuteronomy 17:18 “When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.” This applies to us today. We must revere and follow carefully if we are to live long in the land God has promised to give us. Those who have gone before us have not but we must not do the same. Deuteronomy 31:12 “Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” But this also comes with a warning Deuteronomy 31:24 “After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end, 25 he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord: 26 “Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God. There it will remain as a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the Lord while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die! 28 Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these words in their hearing and call the heavens and the earth to testify against them. 29 For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.” He then recites a song to be remember. You can read it in Deuteronomy 32.