Sermon: Are You the One?

                When you ask the question, are you the one; that means you have been looking for someone in particular. It means you have spent time searching and you have some information that would imply that this person could be the one. It might be as simple as making a purchase from a buy and sell and meeting at a designated public location. A simple question such as are you the person that has the item to buy would easily be verified because they would have the item purchased. Or it could be that you have been searching for someone in particular that will have what you are looking for beyond something materialistic. Everyone is searching for something whether it would be happiness, peace, financial security or a relationship just to name a few. Everyone is also looking for something spiritual whether they know it or not. It could be a god or many gods or God. If you look down through the ages, people gravitate towards a god or gods or God. Some of these gods are mythical and some are men or woman who believe they are gods or the masses have made them out to be gods. Many will worship science, intellect, the universe or some will worship mother nature or an object formed by human hands and then say what they have created is a god and bow to it or it could be as simple as bowing to material possessions. Some will say they bow to no god or God, thus making themselves out to be a god. Ezekiel 28:2 “In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; “‘Because you think you are wise, as wise as a god, 7 I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most ruthless of nations; they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom and pierce your shining splendor. 8 They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die a violent death in the heart of the seas. 9 Will you then say, “I am a god,” in the presence of those who kill you? You will be but a mortal, not a god, in the hands of those who slay you.” Just saying to pretend to be a god will draw the wrath of God on you! Many cultures have many gods and there are many gods out there. But know this Isaiah 44:6 “This is what the Lord says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” Isaiah 8:3 “The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread. 14 He will be a holy place; for both Israel and Judah he will be a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. 15 Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured.” 16 Bind up this testimony of warning and seal up God’s instruction among my disciples. 17 I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my trust in him.” Even though there is only one God many search for other gods to fill their needs. Paul describes this plethora of powerless gods when he said, Acts 17:22 “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.” He then goes on to tell them about the true God. Many will say they have been looking for something spiritual that checks their boxes (many do not want to hear there is a hell) and finally something like Hinduism or Buddhism answers their questions and they say this is the one. Pew Research stated that “Indeed, Muslims will grow more than twice as fast as the overall world population between 2015 and 2060 and, in the second half of this century, will likely surpass Christians as the world’s largest religious group.” One startling result also from Pew Research stated, “Among those who have converted to Islam, a majority come from a Christian background.” It was also noted “unlike some other faiths, Islam gains about as many converts as it loses.”
                I have always liked the quote by Blaise Pascal, which says, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.” You could add to created things any god or many gods. Now with quotes there may be some discrepancy to it, as the above seems to be an interpretation of this quote. It is said that he actually said “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.” I like this picture of this void that only Jesus can fill. Many do not even realize that what is being sucked into their lives is not actually filling that void. Many are desperate to fill that void and for a while they are successful. It may be a house or family, money, drugs / alcohol, prestige, sex, work, religions of the world, travel and on and on the list could go but in the end they will leave you unsatisfied and still looking to fill that void. Sadly many think they filled the void by going to church but as many have found church as we know it leaves you empty. Paul said 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” Because truth has been thrown to the ground as Daniel tells us, the church is not even filling this void and in fact making it worse for people. Peter said about those false teachers offering to fill the void that 2 Peter 2:19 “they promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.” Many have turned away from the church because they have found the void to remain empty yet never realize that a void cannot be filled with emptiness handed down from our fathers. They come away thinking there has to more and end up bouncing around trying to find a church that checks all the boxes and as we saw earlier some will leave and find other religions or walk away completely. Some will end up content but the void will still be there and in the end only hear from Jesus, I don’t know who you are.
                We have to be very careful these days about deception. If you are doing a buy and sell and meeting someone, take someone with you and meet in an open place with people around. But if you are looking to fill a spiritual void, you also must be very careful before you come out and say this is the one I have been looking for. Know that for generations God’s people Isaiah 5:13 “will go into exile for lack of understanding.” 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.” Because of our disobedience, God also brought delusion upon the church. 2 Thessalonians 2:11 “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.” Jesus warned us not to be deceived because of all the deception that was coming. Remember just finding a church to connect with does not fill the void and neither does just sitting there week after week. A person may find a leader or teacher that seems to strike a chord. They like the music, the presentation, the teaching and think this is a person of God; I have found him or her. Many have no idea what it means to test the spirits so they say; this is the one I have been looking for. In most cases, the Jesus they think they are looking for is not there. Beware of those who spend more time in-between than lines than on what scripture actually says. Yes they will give you a description of Jesus but some of the facts have been altered or removed and information has been added and most people are not going to know that therefore it is not Jesus Messiah and Savior. Many people will attend church and worship in vain month after month and year after year and not even know they have been deceived. They will have said I have found the one but really have found nothing and die because they followed empty ways.
                Sadly many will follow the person at the front who says I am the one you are looking for or someone else will tell you here is the one you have been looking for, yet you can still miss the One you should be looking for. John 8:31 “Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” There are many calling out for you to follow their ways but there is only one true way as we see in Proverbs 9:1 “Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. 2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, 4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.” But then we see the opposite. 13 “Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, 15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, 16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” 18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.” Be careful who you listen to.
                Here is an example that floods the news daily and that example is Donald Trump. He believes as do many in the church and outside the church that he was the one and still believe. I saw a picture asking the question in jest if you had accepted Donald Trump as your personal Lord and Savior. Many felt he would take them to the promised land. Even Barack Obama can’t take you to the promised land! Even today Trump rants and raves saying I won, the election was stolen from me and was filled with fraud and millions believe him. Just in case you were wondering, he is the definition of grandiose narcissism. There is an abundance of conspiracy theories along with deranged, demented, deluded and nonsensical tirades and many have and continue to fall for this all the while sending him their money because they think he is the one. Also many in the US church believed he was the one and fell head over heels for him, all the while setting common sense and the truth of God’s word aside. You can get a picture of this when you listen to preachers talk and prophecies made about Trump. I watched a video the other day of all the prophecies made about Trump and his second term and then there was an election. I even listened to a false prophet the other day (after the election) that said there would be a Christmas present as Trumps numbers will increase and Biden’s number will decrease basically meaning Trump would continue as President for another four years. He said that God told him; you do not think I can make things right by Christmas. I will do what I promised to. As I listened he might of inadvertently quoted Habakkuk 1:5 “Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. 6 I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people,” These people are not listening to the Spirit of truth.
                The church has been thoroughly deceived when it comes to Trump but not just with Trump but also with their end time views. They thought Trump was the one and the rapture would be ushered in. Others thought he was God’s servant but remember God also used the king of Babylon. “Surveys of early voters and exit polls this year showed between 76 and 81% of white evangelical and "born again" voters supporting Trump, according to the National Election Pool and AP/Votecast. We essentially have White evangelicals, somewhere around 8 in 10, supporting the president, standing by their candidate, standing by their man," They still believe this just as Donald Trump still thinks he is the one and won the election. Ministers like Franklin Graham recently said November 4, 2020 “I ask that you continue to pray for our nation and this election. Many fear that some are trying to steal the election, so join me in praying that the will of God would be done. Pray that the enemies of God would be quieted and that all their plans would be put to nothing.” God’s will will be done just not how they want. Graham’s words sound so spiritual but really are just delusional. Donnie Swaggart praised Trump and said the election was stolen from him. He said, “I saw a man that knew he won but had it stolen from him. That's the man I am supporting. Abraham Lincoln and Donald Trump are the two greatest presidents.” Wow! Many like him have fallen for the conspiracy theories, the ranting’s and delusions of Trump and those around him. It is pathetic to even listen too. It is even more pathetic to ministers doing the same. They have fallen for the conspiracy theories because they have also fallen for the deceptions of satan concerning the end times. This passage from Isaiah is interesting as it describes the circus pertaining to Trump, his advisors and his lawyers and those who support his delusions. Isaiah 19:13 “The officials of Zoan have become fools, the leaders of Memphis are deceived; the cornerstones of her peoples have led Egypt astray. 14 The Lord has poured into them a spirit of dizziness; they make Egypt stagger in all that she does.” As this spirals out of control, lives could even be in danger from all the lies. The bottom line is that Trump was not the one, and has not only left a country in a humanitarian disaster but is willing to take down democracy with him to serve his own purposes as you saw in Georgia. Proverbs 6:16 “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.” He is stirring up so much conflict that someone is bound to be killed.
                Donald Trump is not the only one who thinks they are the one. Church leaders are far more accountable than Trump and they are doing the same. Church leaders like John MacArthur and Jack Hibbs (there is quite a list) are men just like Trump, accept they are supposed to be ministers of the gospel. These men and others like them are rebelling against authority, downplaying the pandemic. Some of them are also participating in telling their people the election was stolen. This rebellion is also happening here in Canada as you can see with someone like Henry Hildebrandt of the Church of God (Restoration) who has joined in the nonsense of the anti-maskers. The truth of the matter is these efforts by these men and their followers make them look like fools yet they think they are men of God standing for truth. Since the church has followed this pattern of ignorance and foolishness, this has made the church look like a bunch of fools. At this point in time the church does not need any more evidence that it is off-track. Even the ones who are not rebelling against the government or following Trump and remain powerless are off-track. This passage talks about bringing the way into disrepute. Disrepute means “the state of being held in low esteem by the public.” 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” Yes they will tell you I am the one. Follow my way and you will be saved. The very fact that many churches supported and followed Trump shows this incredible lack of discernment. Sadly many will listen to Trump’s lies and believe just as many will listen to the false teachers and prophets and believe. Look at how many churches have ignored scripture to follow their lead. This can be seen when talking about ceasationism. This is a doctrine of demons that says that spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and healing ceased with the Apostolic Age.” The first time I saw this being taught was here in our town at a Baptist church. When I saw the statement God does not do that any more, I believe God opened my eyes to the fact that He will. Don’t you ever wonder like Gideon Judges 6:13 “Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about.” So while many in the church believe this, many others have no idea the available power God has for the church and don’t ask or look or for that matter even believe it is possible. So we end up captive with the church content while being powerless against our enemies. By rejecting what God has for the church, we end up worshipping ourselves as gods and became desolate and doctrines of demons take hold in the church. As I said earlier everyone is looking for something to believe in.
                So how will you know when you have found the one? When I met my girlfriend, now my wife, I knew in my heart that she was the one but as I found out, it actually works better if the person you think is the one also feels that way because after that we broke up several more times. It has to be more than a feeling because when it gets tough that feeling can diminish very quickly. The proof of the love is embracing great times and difficult times. Proverbs 3:11 “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Hebrews 12:7 “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.” The same can be said when looking to fill that void only Jesus can fill. It has to be more than a feeling. Jesus describes it this way. Matthew 13:8 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” There will be proof of the power of the kingdom just as we talked about during our baking days of how yeast works. The proof is in the rising of the dough. I still love to see the dough rising. When you proof the yeast you want to make sure it is doing its job. The proof of our marriage is our fortitude to make it no matter what stands against us and trust me when I say there has been much against us. Jesus also gives us the fortitude to stand against the enemy. Joshua was told, Joshua 1:5 “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” No one else can give you the power to defeat satan.
                This is why it is so important to be searching for Jesus as the One. There is no other. Sadly man enjoys being the one instead. You will notice the big names like their names in lights. After years of ministry they are still the only ones who can preach and teach. Yes they have others of lower status but it is they who drive their ministries, which is why so many are named after themselves. Humility is another attribute to look for. Does this person or church elevate themselves or Jesus? But say they do but there is no power. John the Baptist gives us this picture. John 3:22 “Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” 27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.” 31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” Ministry should be sending people to Jesus. But what has happened is ministers have drawn people to themselves. Many think they have found Him but will find out when it is too late that they have been deceived.
                We saw this just recently in Georgia. Trump was supposed elevate the two candidates running for senate but instead continued his rants. Today Trump and his followers are deceiving millions, just as millions are being deceiving by the church they attend. By the way you can be deceived even if your church has no idea who Trump is. They are deceived because they have not stayed true to God’s words. Too many churches are following man’s words about God’s words. We should be searching for Jesus and His truth with everything we have. We should be willing to lay down our lives so that Jesus will be elevated. Many will spend their lives pouring themselves into some pursuit or another, trying to find the peace, happiness or security that will fill the void. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Our pursuit should be about God. Proverbs 2:1 “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— 3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. 9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. 12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, 13 who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, 14 who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, 15 whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. 16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, 17 who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. 18 Surely her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. 19 None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. 20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; 22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.” We also see it described this way. Luke 15:8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Listen carefully to this verse, which describes the importance of this searching. Luke 13:22 “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!” 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.”
                If you have actually found the one, everything will line up with scripture. There will also be proof as there will be power from on high. Talking about Jesus and walking with Jesus is not proof of power; reaching out and touching Jesus is. Matthew 9:20 “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed. 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, your faith has healed you. And the woman was healed at that moment.” She knew he was the one and the power that flowed proved it. We see this with the first disciples. John 1:5 “The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” John 1:40 “Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.” 43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. 46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” 48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” 50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.” Notice it wasn’t just hearing but seeing the power.
                We also see another who was looking for the one. Luke 2:5 “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” We then saw a woman who was also looking Luke 2:36 “There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. We then hear from John who saw Jesus. John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”
                So here we have John who saw that Jesus was the Messiah. He even lost disciples to Him but jump ahead to near the end of John’s life when he was about to die. He needed to know for sure. Just in case you are wondering about his wondering, Jesus own family who thought He was nuts had to be sure. Mark 3:20 “Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” 31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” 33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” So they weren't even sure but again jump ahead and see who had listened and believed by being in the upper room at Pentecost. Acts 1:14 “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” We all have to come to terms with the fact that Jesus is the one and only one. Even though in Job’s case he did nothing wrong said, Job 42:5 “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Repentance before God is our only hope as the church as travelled far from the truth.
                So John needed to be sure. In Matthew 11:1 “After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. 2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” It is interesting that John merely preached. Nothing flashy, just pointed to the Messiah. John 10:40 “Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.” His job was to point to the Messiah. Luke 1:76 “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness    and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Mark 1:7 “And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 11:13 “For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
                As John said Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. John 1:34 “I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” So John said this is God’s chosen one but near the end of his life questioned Jesus to make sure. Here is the answer that Jesus gave him. Matthew 11:4 “Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” It is important to grasp these two words see and hear. Jesus said report what you see and hear. What did they see and hear; repentance so the kingdom would come near and miracles, signs and wonders. So today if we are looking for the chosen one; Jesus is still the only way, truth and life. John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Since Jesus is the only way and since Jesus is the head of the church, then the church must look like Jesus and do as Jesus did in the power of His name.
                So how do you know the Chosen One in the church today? Jesus is the head of the body and the body is the temple. The answer Jesus gave still applies to today as nothing has changed. Jesus said, “the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.” Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit and clothed with power. After Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit he began to preach Matthew 4:17 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” But notice that while he preached people also saw not just heard. 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. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.”
                So when looking for the chosen one, you will hear something different in their teaching. Matthew 7:28 “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” But it wasn’t just in his teaching; it was the power he had while teaching. Not only was the ministry of Jesus about forgiving sins, it also involved healing. Matthew 8:6 “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Matthew 9:1 “Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” 4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.” Matthew 14:14 “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.” 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.” Luke 5:15 “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.
                Jesus had great authority. Matthew 21:18 “Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.” Matthew 8:24 “Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew14:25 “Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.” He also fed the thousands. John 6:12 “When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. 14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
                Jesus also had authority over the demonic. 1 John 3:8 “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” 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.” Luke 4:32 “They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.” 36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.” Matthew 9:32 “While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” Matthew 8:28 “When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” 30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.”
                Now as you can see from this account, the demonic is still around as is the work of the devil. We are supposed to carry on this work of destroying the devils work. If the church is actually teaching the words of Jesus, we too will have the same authority to cast out demons and heal the sick. This is not part of today’s church but that is what happens when you set aside God’s word for your own. Jesus said in 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.” James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 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.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” Mark 16:5 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
                Jesus showed his disciples what His church would look like and it still should look as I just described. As we just read, Jesus said this is what the disciples were to continue to do. Luke 24:45 “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 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 1:4 “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “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.” This is what John said would be coming.
                Earlier Jesus had given the disciples a taste of His power and authority. He showed them they too could do as he did if they believed. Jesus gave authority to His disciples and clothed them with power. Matthew 14:28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Yes they still had not been through Pentecost as even though Peter confessed Jesus as the Son of God, he also denied him three times.
                Jesus had anointed and appointed his disciples. This was what the church was also to continue to do. Mark 3:13 “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons.” Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Jesus even expected them to feed the five thousand when He said Luke 9:13 “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.) Jesus sent out the seventy-two and said Luke 10:9 “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.” 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.” Luke 10:19 “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Acts 5:12 “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” Hebrews 2:3 “This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”
                As we saw this wasn’t just for the twelve, but the seventy-two and beyond. Peter said Acts 2:8 “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.” Paul was called just as we are called Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” We also saw Stephen called as a waiter of tables. Acts 6:2 “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word. 5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. (this is a key element missing in today’s church) 7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. 8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.” Then we see another one of the men named Philip filled with the Spirit. Acts 8:3 “But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. 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.”
                So I am sure you can see that the anointing of the Holy Spirit should look the same as all of these verses showed. As I talked about earlier, ceasationism a demonic doctrine has given approval to the powerless church. Notice that when talking about the power of the Holy Spirit there is verse after verse but when trying to talk about ceasationism there is nothing but verses talking about a lack of power from disobedience. We are not seeing nor are we hearing any of this power in the church and the church is okay with that. So the church has followed the wrong one and has been deceived. This power was to continue so that when someone asked about Jesus the answer is of course Jesus is the way and here is why. What you see and hear is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Is this the way they would ask and the answer would be of course, the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.” You would say of course the church looks exactly as Jesus showed us it would look like but it doesn’t. So instead people are enthralled with leaders, buildings, programs, entertaining services; a form of godliness but no power. Yes people gather each week and then go home and do it again the next. There is no power and the power some think they have is not this power but a masquerade by satan. The deception and delusion in the church due to our disobedience means there is nothing to hear or see as the church has added to and subtracted from the word of God.
                We are supposed to be teaching about the kingdom of God. That means repentance and turning from our wicked ways so that the kingdom comes near. That means when the kingdom comes near the church will look the same as the church God intended us to be. That means the Spirit of Truth will once again be among us. Truth has been thrown down and the church lies in desolation. When God turns His face back to us that means all the gifts and fruit of the Spirit will be flowing freely. This means healing and casting out demons will be a common occurrence once again. This means there will be discernment once again. When you read the gospels and then look at the church and hear what they are saying, it is distressing. The church became just a form of godliness and continues to deny the power. It is a whitewashed wall that has crashed. When talking about false prophets Ezekiel said, Ezekiel 13:10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?” 13 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury. 14 I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord. 15 So I will pour out my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it, 16 those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign Lord.” We should never have settled for the powerless church. Ceasationism should never have been allowed in the church whether you knew what the word meant or not. There should have been a searching with everything we had to find the truth that had been lost but as time has gone by the church has gotten further and further away, literally going backwards as Jeremiah said Jeremiah 7:24 “But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.”
                There is only one way and that way will look like the bible. During this advent season it is paramount that we return to God. Yes we have been raised that Jesus was born in a manger and Christmas became more about the baby Jesus than King Jesus. Hebrews 5:12 “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.” This glorious event was just the starting of great things to come. Matthew 1:20 “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Luke 1:30 “The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; 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.” There was great expectation that a king was coming but when he came he was not who they wanted Him to be so they turned away and crucified Him. They rejected His kingdom and now the wrath of God is against them. Romans 2:5 “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” The church has rejected the truth and has gone their own way. As John said the Chosen One came but the church chose others to follow. 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.” 1 John 2:18 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.”
                This very day the enemy is standing in the pulpits distorting scripture and leading the flock astray. Jeremiah 5:31 “The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” But God says, Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. 3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord. 5 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.” Ezekiel 34:1 “The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them. 11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.  30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. 31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
                God did this and Jesus came as the head of the church but like the Jews, the church has rejected their Savior. Instead of following the words of their Savior, like Israel Numbers 14:4 “they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” The church also has chosen leaders to go back to Egypt. They all died in the desert. 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.” But the question asked by Jeremiah still applies; what will you do in the end?
                During this Advent season as this pandemic rages across the world, health authorities are telling us, as they should not to gather for Christmas. That does not mean Christmas is canceled. What it does mean is that we need to take the time this Advent to return to the true meaning of Christmas, to return to the Chosen One. How can the world turn to Jesus if the church is charging in the wrong direction saying they have done nothing wrong? Jeremiah 8:6 “I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle.” Christmas changed the world but if you are still only focused on the baby Jesus if will miss the power of the King to continue changing the world. Yes Jesus saved us from our sins but you must obey God’s word for that to be in affect. When you obey and follow God’s word wholeheartedly we will be a Christmas, Easter and Pentecost church clothed with power from on High. You can’t live how you want and expect the words of our Savior to apply. So during this Christmas season return to God. Christmas has become a secular event and totally missing the gifts God has for us. Don’t be satisfied with the gifts this world has to offer you; expect more. Advent is a time of great expectation. God is the God of the impossible; expect more! God told Moses, Exodus 34:10 “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you. 11 Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 12 Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. 13 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. 14 Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” You cannot worship other gods / gospels and expect God to bless you with His power and authority. Not only was there the gift of eternal life, but gifts are given to us to continue defeating the works of satan during this life. As it stands now the enemy has infiltrated the church because the church turned away so God turned away from us. Malachi 3:7 “Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?”
                Make this Christmas the real meaning of Christmas by returning to Him who brought you salvation. Don’t be like those who have gone before us. Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” Acts 2:40 “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.”