God’s plan for His people provided His presence and His blessing, His protection and His love right from the beginning of time but His people must obey His words. God gave Adam and Eve the Garden and Genesis 1:28 “blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it,” yet they refused to obey. God then in His amazing grace gave His people the Promised land, Deuteronomy 1:8 “See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them,” yet they refused to obey and like the garden were removed from it. Then God John 3:16 “so love the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” yet His own people “19 loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil,” and refused to obey. John 1:11 “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” God’s chosen people refused to obey, so Isaiah’s words were fulfilled. Isaiah 42:6 “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.” Then God sent Paul to the Gentiles since the Jews refused to listen. Acts 9:15 “This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.” Acts 13:44 “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” Yet even the Gentiles have disobeyed and turned away from God’s word which happened very quickly. 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!”
Disobedience has been happening since the very beginning. God commanded Adam and Eve to obey but satan undermined God’s word as he continues to do and instead of obeying, they listened to satan instead of God. Genesis 3:1 “He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” In fact, death did come just as God said but God made a way back to life. God told Israel Deuteronomy 4:1 “Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.” They were warned that, Deuteronomy 8:19 “if you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.” Over and over the people were warned but they refused to listen. Jeremiah 7:22 “For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, 23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. 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. 25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.” They said Jeremiah 44:16 “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! 17 We will certainly do everything we said we would.” Jeremiah 6:17 “I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.’ 18 Therefore hear, you nations; you who are witnesses, observe what will happen to them. 19 Hear, you earth: I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law.” Jeremiah 18:11 “This is what the Lord says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’ 12 But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.’” Disaster came just as God said it would. 2 Chronicles 26:15 “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.”
Today satan is still deceiving God’s people and God’s people are still turning away from His word and disaster has come to the church in the form of the abomination that causes desolation, as will eternal punishment. This is happening because most don’t test the preaching and teaching that they hear as many have turned away from God’s word to go their own way. Most who have listened to false teaching / other gospels have also turned away. Sure, you may hear the bible preached every Sunday but are you really hearing what God is saying? Are you testing the spirits to make sure it is God who is speaking? You need to do this because satan is in the church. 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.” If you were raised in a Christian home and even if you are a recent convert, you have been taught that you go to church. You sing some songs, listen to the preacher preach, you may even get involved, and then repeat and this is your life as a Christian. You have accepted what you presently see and hear as the church. Basically, most just accept what they hear and expect that they are Christians and eternal life awaits them because they said a little prayer, followed the guidelines and go to church. If you ended up at a Catholic church, you accept those ways and believe what you were taught. The same goes for all the others like Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Brethren, Reformed and on and on it goes. Each group believes they are the way, the truth and the life even though each group has added to and taken from scripture. They may even say that they are ecumenical and just one part of the body of Christ but that really is not true because if that really was the case, there would not be all the division there is as seen in the church today. Most who go to church really don’t know what the bible teaches aside from the distinct views of the church they attend. Truth be told, they probably don’t even know what the doctrines and theology are that their church adheres to and how they differ from others. Most are also content to be part of a powerless church. Sundays come and go, but most just accept what they hear and don’t even check to see what scripture actually states. This comes at great cost. Isaiah 5:13 “Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding.” Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hebrews 5:11 “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Yes, the church is filled with infants who want their appetites satisfied and all their needs met.
Week after week people gather to listen to someone teach them and many have spent their lives in that cycle. They go to church but are not actually the church. Jesus almost right away gathered disciples around him and sent them out to do as He did. The church really should not just be a gathering of people listening to one person speak week after week. The church as we know it today is not the church Jesus established. Yes, people gather but then the church is supposed to go and make other disciples in power, not just invite people to church so that they are doing what you have done. As it stands now most people are just moving from one church to the next looking for the appetites to be filled and their ears to be scratched. 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.” Most really do not want to know what the bible actually states and if they are told they will be offended.
Today the church is filled with false teachers that love to scratch ears. Because most do not test the spirits, these false teachers get away with it and most just accept what they say as truth when in fact they are being led astray. This is not new. 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.” Ezekiel 13:3 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! Jeremiah 23:21 “I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.” False teachers and prophets are still here. 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” When talking about Paul’s writing Peter said, 2 Peter 3:16 “He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” We were warned this would happen. Jesus said, Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Paul said Acts 20:29 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” Peter 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.” That was right at the beginning, so think about how that has multiplied since.
For example, take a false teacher like John MacArthur who has a global outreach, large church, radio, television, online, seminary and college, books galore. Think about all the ministers, students, and people who follow his teaching, as his influence is far reaching, yet most do not know he is a false teacher. Much discernment is needed because false teachers are not completely false, as they are like counterfeit money; it looks real, but it is fake. 2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” So how do you tell? First you need to read and know your bible, asking that God will open your eyes to His truth. Don’t read it with the distinct perspective that you have been taught. If you have been raised Baptist, you will read it with that perspective. Don’t do that. Don’t read the bible as a storybook but read the bible as it is, God’s living word. The bible is not a book because its words are life. Deuteronomy 32:47 “They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” 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.” Do you believe? Read the Gospels and Acts then ask yourself why the church does not look like this and don’t be afraid to search. Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” Matthew 7:14 “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” That means you have to look hard for it. Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
Take this verse from 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.” Ask yourself if you really believe it. God’s word is truth but when Jesus says very truly I tell you, believe what He says in truth. People spend more time looking for what the verse doesn’t mean than just reading and believing and expecting it to be true. When you acknowledge that you don’t really believe what Jesus said, then do as we are also told and repent so that the kingdom comes near. When power comes near, once again the church will do as Jesus did. People have been taught to read the wonderful stories of Jesus but not taught to do as He did. Nor are people taught that it is possible to do as Jesus did. We are told 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.” Many in the church will read that and say that was Jesus, of course He did that. Tell me more of those old, old stories but it wasn’t just Jesus who had that power. 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.” Many will read that and say those were Jesus disciples, of course they did this but never inquire why it is not happening today even though this was supposed to be the church after the power from on High fell at Pentecost. Pentecost wasn’t a one-time event. Acts 4:29 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” The church should still be praying that prayer. Other disciples went out in power. Acts 8:4 “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.”
Yes, there are parts of the bible that are hard to understand but for the most part just read and believe as God will give understanding to the parts that are harder to understand when needed. This is not complicated. Jesus came and showed us what to do and then empowered us to do it. satan is only defeated by that power. What you just read above was supposed to be the church, so ask yourself why this is not happening and whether you actually believe God’s word or have you been deceived by man’s false teaching and doctrines of demons. Most have been deceived which is why the church needs to turn from wicked ways. To know the truth, you have to test the spirits. False teachers are everywhere, as are evil spirits. satan wants to turn you against God by rejecting His word just like he did in the garden. He wants you to question truth. When talking to Pilate, John 18:37 “Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” 38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate.” Truth was standing right beside him. When the lady in a crowd reached out to touch Jesus, she was instantly healed. Luke 8:43 “And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Today there are lots of people who say they walk with Jesus but are filled with unbelief and do not reach out to touch Him.
satan’s job is to deceive the world and because the church has rebelled against God’s word, the church has been decimated. To fight him, the church must return to God’s word and stand firmly upon it with your armor on. Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work; the church was to continue in that work. 1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”
Here we see how God’s word leads us to truth. The Apostle Paul felt called to Macedonia. Acts 16:9 “During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” He arrived in Thessalonica. Acts 17:2 “As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women. 5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. 10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.” They were not reading from the New Testament but would end up being in the New Testament. Examining scriptures showed that what Paul was saying true.
We know that Paul was a servant of God who was not afraid to speak the truth of God’s word. Paul believed this. Hebrews 13:6 “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” We also know that God had given him great power. 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.” As Paul preached, these Bereans needed to know if what Paul as saying was actually founded in scripture. They looked at scripture to tell if Paul spoke truth. They were also eager for the truth and they tested 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.” Even though there were Jews in Thessalonica who were against Paul, there were others who received God’s word as truth. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 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. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” 1 Thessalonians 2:3 “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. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.”
John goes on to say, 1 John 4:6 “We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” It is imperative that you know who is from God and who to listen to. The true prophets would say to the people, hear the word of the Lord but false prophets are also saying they speak for God. Ezekiel 13:2 “The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!” Today there are false teachers saying, hear the word of the Lord and people are listening to them as if they are speaking God’s words.
These false teachers / prophets are everywhere and yes they believe what they teach with all their heart, soul and mind and will probably die holding on to those beliefs. Sadly Jude 1:12 “These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.” 2 Peter 2:18 “For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” When we listen to people teach or preach, we are supposed to test the spirits. There is a difference between someone who is actually preaching God’s word and those who do not. Preaching God’s word will look like scripture and have the same results. At this point the result needs to be repentance. When God turns His face back to the church, power will flow. When God’s word is distorted and manipulated, it does not. Going back to John MacArthur who is just one of many false teachers, we can see how testing the spirits by standing on scripture can save you from these false teachers. For example, when you look at John MacArthur’s teaching on cessationism (miracles, signs, wonders done through disciples ceased after Paul), you will not find what he teaches in scripture. This is odd because he writes commentaries and books about scripture, yet he denies the available power to God’s disciples. John said John 20:30 “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 21:25 “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John MacArthur teaches cessationism, which is a doctrine of demons. He has written many books but believes God’s power has ceased and is no longer available to the disciples of Jesus yet people flock to his teaching. Jesus would fill the world with books about all signs and wonders that he had done; MacArthur cannot. If you test the spirits, you will stick to the word of God and not the words of John MacArthur. If you do follow John MacArthur or others like him, turn and run. That is just one case because for each false teacher / prophet there will be thousands of others teaching the same lies. 2 Timothy 3:5 “having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.”
Actually, scripture is very clear that there can be power for all who believe. Jesus said Mark 16:16 “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.” 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.” 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.” You have to ask yourself; do you believe scripture or do you believe the pathetic words of a powerless man teaching doctrines of demons?
There are many who believe in cessationism even if they don’t identify themselves with that term. Most in the church do not believe there is power available to all who believe because they have not seen it. Thus they deny scripture with their unbelief. There are those like the charismatics who do believe there is power, but their problem is discernment as to whether satan is behind the power or God. In most cases presently it is satan. Gold fillings, angel feathers, talking gibberish, falling on your back do not line up with scripture. Most are so deceived, charismatic and non-charismatic, that the average Christian is not seeking God’s power in their lives. They have grown accustomed to a lack of power but as Paul said Galatians 3:1 “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Most have no problem going to the doctor when they are sick, as they believe the doctor can heal them. When he does, they thank God for His touch. When the doctor is not able to heal, they are angry at God for not touching. 2 Chronicles 16:12 “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.” The reality is that they do not believe that a disciple of Jesus can actually be given the gift of healing or miraculous powers, so really they are cessationists and refuse to believe what the bible actually says. They have bought into the lie. To believe means you are seeking those gifts. 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”
The reason there is no power is because the church has rebelled against God’s word and does not believe God at His word. That is the reason there is no power. It is not because it is not available. The bible does not need any help from man, yet the church constantly is adding to and taking away from God’s word. Therefore God has allowed satan to decimate the church. The only way to beat him is to turn from wicked ways and return to God ‘s word. When the church returns to God’s word and stops following false teachers and preachers, God will turn His face back to the church and the church will then do as Jesus did just as the church was empowered to do at Pentecost. Zechariah 1:3 “Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.” It is only when God once again dwells among His people that His power will flow among us and our enemies will be destroyed. There is a time coming when satan will be destroyed. Revelation 20:10 “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” You do not want to listen to satan because Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Until then, satan has great power to deceive the world and turn people against God. The power is so great Jesus said 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.”
As we saw with Paul, there is great opposition to the truth of God’s word. Today there are Gentiles who respond to truth just like the Jews did and still do. It is no wonder, as many Christians have bought into what the Jews believe even though they murdered their own Messiah. Many are waiting for Jesus to reign as king on this earth even though that has already happened. Luke 11:20 “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” He drove out demons. Mary was told Luke 1:30 “you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 67 Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”
The only way to survive is to stand firm on God’s word. Psalm 119:89 “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” Many say they do stand firm but have fallen prey to the deception of other gospels. Jesus said Matthew 10:22 “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Stand firm. Let nothing move you.” Luke 21:19 “Stand firm, and you will win life.” We are also warned 1 Corinthians 10:12 “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 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.” 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
God’s words are words of truth and life and need to be handled correctly. Many lives depend on it. Isaiah 55:11 “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” The bible can made to say anything you want so be careful who you listen to. Test the spirits, compare what you hear to God’s word and run from false teaching. Titus 1:10 “For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.” This advice is to anyone who seeks to be a servant of God. (disciples) 2 Timothy 2:5 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”