Scripture: Zechariah 23:3 “While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him 4 and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. 5 And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’ 6 “Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the Lord, “for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” declares the Lord. 7 “Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter Babylon!” 8 For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye— 9 I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me. 10 “Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord. 11 “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.” Isaiah 46:12 “Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from my righteousness. 13 I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel.
Song: Send the Fire - Nashville Singers
Sermon: “Suddenly In An Instant”
Closing Song: Yours Is the Kingdom - Hillsong
Benediction: 1 Chronicles 29:10 “Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. 11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”
Close with the Lord’s Prayer: Matthew 6:10 “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Sermon: “Suddenly in an Instant”
Today as most calendars indicate is Pentecost Sunday, the 50th day after Easter. As we talked about in the blogs, the Jews just finished celebrating Shavuot. The Jews are still celebrating God giving the Torah to them at Mount Sinai yet are still rejecting Jesus, the word that became flesh and missing the Holy Spirit. Shavuot is now Pentecost, the giving of the Holy Spirit on all who would believe. 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 word suddenly has a meaning of something that happens “quickly and unexpectedly.” The disciples were told to wait to be clothed with power from on high. At the same time God fearing Jews from all nations gathered. Acts 2:6 “When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.” Jesus had said 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.” Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Suddenly in an instant the gospel went out to the nations but that was the Jews. That was amazing from a group who didn’t believe he had risen from the dead. It really should not have been unexpected as Jesus showed them the power that would be available when clothed with power from on high. Later Paul was called to go the Gentiles and here we are today seeking God and the power from on high.
Like the Jews, Pentecost is a yearly date on the calendar that does not have the power it represents. The church places little to no emphasis on Pentecost compared to Christmas and Easter. Yes if you are following the calendar of the Christian year, you will have the specific readings for that year and then the next thing you know, you will be preparing to do it all over again. Christmas and Easter have been commercialized even in the church as most churches ramp up the production to supposedly reach the lost yet at the same time deny the power of Pentecost available to all who would believe. The only way to reach the lost is to have the power of Pentecost once again. Yes we can read all about Pentecost but still not have the power that took place at Pentecost. Think about it, for at the perfect time God said to the disciples, wait and God fearing Jews from every nation gathered. 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.” God was calling and those who accepted His call were saved. Others simply thought they had too much to drink. Even when Jesus himself preached many turned away and refused to follow, though they heard His voice.
Pentecost was to be the beginning of the powerful church going out into the world proclaiming the name of Jesus healing the sick, casting out demons raising the dead and proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Somewhere along the line, Pentecost became a onetime event, of which it is not. The power of Pentecost was to keep going. Yes there was an event at Pentecost / Shavuot where there was a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and God poured out His Spirit in a powerful way but what happened that day was to continue with the same power available to the believers. Just a short time after Pentecost, the power flowed again. Acts 4:31 “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.” Later we saw the Holy Spirit fall on the Gentiles just as it did the disciples which was also the beginning not the end of power. As Peter was preaching again to those who had gathered with Cornelius, Acts 10:44 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.” Then we see the Holy Spirit falling in a different way. Paul met some disciples who had never heard there was the Holy Spirit. 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.” Here we see the Holy Spirit received through the laying on of hands. 2 Timothy 1:6 “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
Sadly this date on the calendar is just a date on the calendar that remembers an event long ago and that is about it. Most in the church have no idea about the Holy Spirit other than they were told when the believed they were filled, yet there is no change and no power. Yes some people have changed but you see that all the time outside the church with weight loss, personality changes, business success but for the most part people remain unchanged. The fruit and the gifts of the Spirit are not in operation so there is a problem. Hebrews says Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.” Notice that these elementary teachings most in the church have no idea about. In the previous chapter 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.” Laying on of hands is elementary teaching yet this is not a common practice and the ones that are doing it we have this warning. 1 Timothy 5:22 “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.”
When the Holy Spirit is present, the same power will flow as we saw at Pentecost and following. Our words will then be anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit. Luke 4:35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. Power will also flow through our hands and the church will no longer be what our hands have made. Luke 4:40 “At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!”
So why is the church so powerless? The answer is, man decided just to use the power of their own hands and by doing this they ignored the word of God by modifying it to satisfy their own needs. They tried to make God’s words say what their own doctrines and theology say. They went their own way and did not adhere to God’s word. Because of this God has turned His face from us and Pentecost became a date on the calendar but it became worse than that. satan infiltrated the church and the abomination of desolation prophesied by Daniel and warned by Jesus came upon us. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” What people see in the church today is not the church but deception and delusion.
This has happened because the church has turned their backs on God’s word. Israel was warned just as we are warned. Deuteronomy 31:16 “They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. 17 And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’ 18 And I will certainly hide my face in that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods. 19 “Now write down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them. 20 When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their ancestors, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant. 21 And when many disasters and calamities come on them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath.” 22 So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites.” Some of the words of this song we forgot to sing said are. Deuteronomy 32:5 “They are corrupt and not his children; to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation. 6 Is this the way you repay the Lord, you foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you? 19 The Lord saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. 21 They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols.” This is what happens when we follow other gospels even though we were warned not to.
Jesus also warned us in 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. 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. ” When we turn from God, He turns from us although there will always be a remnant but as we saw even Judah went into captivity. Isaiah 54:7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.”
Isaiah gives us a description of the church today. Isaiah 2:6 “You, Lord, have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and embrace pagan customs. 7 Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. 8 Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made. 9 So people will be brought low and everyone humbled.” You can see in the church how bad the deception is as most in the church refuse to humble themselves before God and turn from their wicked ways. Isaiah 17:10 “You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. Therefore, though you set out the finest plants and plant imported vines, 11 though on the day you set them out, you make them grow, and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud, yet the harvest will be as nothing in the day of disease and incurable pain.” Remember success in the church is not defined how the world defines success. Success is obedience to God’s word with God verifying His message with power from on High. 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.” Instead of continuing with the gospel, the church turned away. Isaiah 63:18 “For a little while your people possessed your holy place, but now our enemies have trampled down your sanctuary.” We are the temple that has been trampled down. Isaiah 64:7 “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 65:1 “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ 2 All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations— 3 a people who continually provoke me to my very face. 12 for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me.” Isaiah 29:13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” Isaiah 30:1 “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin.” 9 For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction. 10 They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. 11 Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” Isn’t it interesting how satan does not want you to read the Old Testament. He even teaches that God acts differently in different dispensations. God does not change!
Isaiah describes the church of today and generations before us. The amazing thing about God is that He longs to be gracious to us. All through Isaiah we see the description of those who have turned away but also the hope given to those who have turned back. We also see the amazing love God has for His people even though they turn from him. Do not be deceived by those who say because God loves us so you can live however you want and be secure. A remnant is a small portion of the whole. Isaiah 30:15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. 18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Even thought the church has forgotten our Savior, God is merciful to us even though we do not deserve His mercy. Deuteronomy 4:31 “For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.” Nehemiah 9:31 “But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.” 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. 9 Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.”
Because of God’s great compassion and mercy He said that if we would seek Him we would find him but we must seek with all our heart. Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from there (after taken captive) you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.” Jeremiah 29:10 “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
There are so many warnings in the bible that the church has not heeded. Right after this Jesus said Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” He then says 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” There are so many false teachers and the deception is so great, truth has been thrown to the ground. In this same passage Jesus warns us about false prophets 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. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” These men and woman will not get away with the leading the church astray. We are told that blackest darkness is reserved for them. Isaiah 2:11 “The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” Proverbs 26:24 “Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. 25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. 26 Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” Proverbs 6:12 “A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, 13 who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, 14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart— he always stirs up conflict. 15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy. 16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
There is good news as our enemies will be defeated and the power of God will prevail once again. Jeremiah 50:31 “See, I am against you, you arrogant one,” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty, “for your day has come, the time for you to be punished. 32 The arrogant one will stumble and fall and no one will help her up.” Isaiah 14:3 “On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, 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!” Jeremiah 51:24 “Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia for all the wrong they have done in Zion,” declares the Lord.” 25 “I am against you, you destroying mountain, you who destroy the whole earth,” declares the Lord.” Isaiah 1:24 “Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: “Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes and avenge myself on my enemies. 25 I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. 26 I will restore your leaders as in days of old, your rulers as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.”
The power of Pentecost meant that God would dwell among his people but not in a temple built by human hands. 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.” We are now the temple that God dwells in. Psalm 24:3 “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.” Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Hebrews 10:22 “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” 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.” 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” With God dwelling in us, the church was to carry of the work of Jesus in the authority of His name and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said 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.” Jesus said 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.” We were to carry on that work but the only way we can do that is to be anointed with power from on high.
So we wait for God to move against our enemies that have infiltrated the church and His Pentecost power. David said Psalm 27:13 “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” The good news is that when God moves, He will come upon us and our enemies suddenly. Isaiah 29:5 “Suddenly, in an instant, 6 the Lord Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire.” Malachi 3:1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.” As far as our enemies, Psalm 6:10 “All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish; they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.” Isaiah 17:14 “In the evening, sudden terror! Before the morning, they are gone! This is the portion of those who loot us, the lot of those who plunder us.” Isaiah 12:1 “In that day you will say: “I will praise you, Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me.” Isaiah 25:9 “In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” Isaiah 30:19 “People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.” Isaiah 30:20 “Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.”
When God created the universe he spoke and it was. All through scripture we see God suddenly move in power. Words like suddenly, instantly, quickly, as soon as and immediately will once again be common in the church. Acts 2:2 “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.” Acts 12:7 “Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.” Mark 9:15 “As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.” Luke 8:47 “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.” Acts 3:7 “Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.” Matthew 8:3 “Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.” Matthew 20:34 “Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” Mark 1:42 “Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.” Mark 5:42 “Immediately the (dead) girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.” Mark 10:52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.” Luke 13:13 “Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.” Mark 1:27 “The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.”
These are words that will return to the church and the church will become the temple God dwells in once again. Our enemies will be defeated and we will go to the ends of the earth to proclaim the name of Jesus and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. There will be healing and demons cast out and the kingdom of God will come near. Words we want to hear are; “in that day.” We are waiting because God said to wait, so we obey. 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.” Isaiah 8:17 “I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my trust in him.” Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” Isaiah 30:18 “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isaiah 64:4 “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”
So when God does move suddenly and in an instant as he promised he would do, His power will be available to all who believe. Even though David had already been anointed to be King, Saul relentlessly tried to kill him but in the end 1 Samuel 31:6 “Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together that same day.” David then became king. Job was mocked daily but at the end of his suffering Job 42:10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. 12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” Joseph was sold into slavery by His brothers but Psalm 105:17 “Joseph, sold as a slave. 18 They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, 19 till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true. 20 The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free. 21 He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed, 22 to instruct his princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom.” Genesis 41:14 “So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh. 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
In that day Isaiah 4:2 “In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. 4 The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. 5 Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy. 6 It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.”
Isaiah 10:20 “In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 11:10 “In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.” Isaiah 12:1 “In that day you will say: “I will praise you, Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. 4 In that day you will say: “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.” Amos 9:11 “In that day “I will restore David’s fallen shelter— I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins— and will rebuild it as it used to be.”
In that day Pentecost will no longer be a date on the calendar. The church will once again go out and do as it was commanded to do. The glory of the Lord will once again fill the temple. 2 Chronicles 7:1 “When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.” Ezekiel had a vision of God’s glory. Ezekiel 1:1 “Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, 2 and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory. 3 The vision I saw was like the vision I had seen when he came to destroy the city and like the visions I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown. 4 The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east. 5 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” He then was told 10 “Son of man, describe the temple to the people of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their sins. Let them consider its perfection, 11 and if they are ashamed of all they have done, make known to them the design of the temple—its arrangement, its exits and entrances—its whole design and all its regulations and laws. Write these down before them so that they may be faithful to its design and follow all its regulations.”
When Jesus came everything changed but it did not mean there was not a plan for the temple of God. The new plan was not a building. Man decided they did not like the plan given to us in the New Testament, the New Covenant so they came up with their own from their own imaginations and then said look what God has given me, this new revelation. Man desperately wanted to build something with their own hands so they followed their stubborn hearts and built. This resulted in God turning His face from the church and we have been in desolation ever since just as we were warned. Pentecost is the plan. Without this power we cannot defeat satan. Sure you may have a church full of people or empty for that matter but that is about all you have. The church is spiritual and eternal, not temporal and worldly. We were told to go and make disciples but not disciples of men but of Jesus. This means we would have the mind of Christ, His words, His power and Spirit. That also means God would be dwelling in us. Revelation 21:3 “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.” Jesus said John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Paul said “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, my dear brothers and sisters, 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.” Paul warned us at the beginning of this chapter 1 “I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”
Not only are we waiting for the power of God to return to us, we are also waiting for the end to come. Mark 13:35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” 1 Thessalonians 5:1 “Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” 1 Corinthians 15:1 “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.”
God is not slow, nor has He forgotten us. No, when he moves it will be suddenly and instantaneous, and with great power He will reveal Himself to the nations. Micah 7:16 “Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power. They will put their hands over their mouths and their ears will become deaf.” Revelation 15:4 “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.” Revelation 12:10 “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.”