Jesus said, John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The other day we talked about Christianity being a lot simpler than it is portrayed and this verse is simple. Jesus is the only way and in Him is truth and life; there is no other way to God. We must believe and obey the way, truth and life. 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. 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.” John told us John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” In the book of John (NIV), believe or a variation appears 84 times. We can’t say we believe in Jesus if we do not keep His commandments. The Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah so everything in the New Testament is ignored. If we ignore scripture, we cannot keep His commands. Hebrews 2:1 “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” Keeping His commandments means that we love Jesus. John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”
Jesus said John 6:29 “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” Both the Old and New Testament show us unbelief right away. Adam and Eve chose not to obey God and instead believed satan. Then the same happened with Jesus. Right away we see that people either believed or refused to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, Son of God. John 1:9 “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 3:19 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” Jesus coming meant that God was dwelling among us. Matthew 1:22 “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”).”
The whole bible is God’s living word and is not a book. 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Peter said 2 Peter 1:16 “For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The bible did not just come together like a book written by man, these are God’s words. As Moses said Deuteronomy 32:45 “When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. 47 They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” This is why we are told not add to them or take away from these words and why would we, yet so many have. Deuteronomy 4:2 “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.” Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” Keeping commandments means not changing them to suit our own needs. It is not just the red letters that are the words of Jesus. I have heard people say Jesus did not say anything on certain subjects because it was not in the red letters. The bible is the inspired word of God, the word became flesh; Jesus is the word.
We spent a little time talking about some of the isms in the church. Some isms were doctrines and theology, and some were named after men. The church as we know it today is basically following the ways (doctrines, plans) of man and not living as Jesus did. That means the church no longer teaches truth. Everyone will tell you that they agree to disagree, and it is okay because everyone believes Jesus is Lord and rose from the dead, but the rest is up for interpretation. Most also believe the Holy Spirit is present, yet there are also many differing views concerning the Holy Spirit. When we go back to John 14, it is clear there is only one way, not multiple ways, so whether people agree to disagree or not, most are wrong if they are following isms. There is no such thing as a Baptist christian or a Catholic christian or a Calvinist or Wesleyan because there is only one way. Now each ism will tell you theirs is the way, truth and life and to get to heaven you need to be one of them. For example, if you call yourself a Christian but are not Catholic, you cannot receive communion at a Catholic church. Therefore, you in their eyes are not a Christian because you are not Catholic. You then have Protestants who do not think Catholics are Christians. Both are wrong because they have turned from the truth. Jeremiah 5:21 “Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: 22 Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord. “Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it. 23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away. 24 They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God.”
Catholics and Protestants have followed their own ways as they see fit. 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.” Catholics have admittedly added to scripture as have Protestants, even though they do not admit to it like the Catholics do. Every faction has their book of distinct beliefs / doctrines and guidelines to follow in addition to scripture even though Jesus said there is only one way, truth and life. You would never know it by looking at all factions with their distinct beliefs. Most in the church have turned a blind eye to all the division. John writes 1 John 1:1 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.” That should be the same in the church but it is not. Jesus is the word of life, but we also have the Spirit of Truth. John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth.” John 6:63 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” It is safe to say that if you have added to and taken away from scripture, you do not believe. If the church did believe, the church would not have done that.
The church very quickly rejected the word of God and turned to other gospels, therefore has rejected Jesus. Some factions have even adopted many of the beliefs of the Jews (dispensationalists, zionists) who murdered their own Messiah which means they have also rejected Jesus. By turning from God’s word, God turned His face from the church. 2 Chronicles 29:6 “Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him.” Nehemiah 9:29 “You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’ Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen.” Isaiah 1:4 “Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.” Zechariah 7:8 “And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: 9 “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’ 11 “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. 12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry. 13 “‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the Lord Almighty. 14 ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land they left behind them was so desolate that no one traveled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.’”
God turned from the church because the church rebelled against His word just as Israel and Judah did. Even though God turned His face from the church, the church kept going in the wrong direction and refuses to listen to the word of truth. 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.” God’s powerful plan for the church was set aside for the empty and powerless plans of man. The church did not fear God and set aside the wisdom and knowledge that came with fearing God for the wisdom and knowledge of man. This allowed satan to deceive the church even though Jesus warned us this would happen. We are told, 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.” When there is no fear of God, then the enemy will prevail but fearing God leads to victory. Proverbs 2:12 “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.”
The church ceased listening to the right voice and followed those shepherds who did not care for the sheep as we talked about yesterday. There are two voices to listen to, Jesus or satan. John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. 12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.” The first voice is wisdom. 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.” The second is folly but notice they are both calling out to you. 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.”
Since the word of life was rejected and God turned His face, that also meant the Spirit of truth was not present. We were warned by Daniel, Daniel 8:11 “It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down. 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.” Isaiah 59:15 “Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.” This meant that the church would reject truth and go their own way. There was nothing reformed about the Reformation as the church continued to divide and go their own way. Yes, the Catholic church was a mess but so are the Protestants. Truth is still nowhere to be found. Ezekiel 22:25 “There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her. 26 Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27 Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. 28 Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’—when the Lord has not spoken. 29 The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice. 30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”
This rebellion allowed satan to control the church. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” We saw this warning in Daniel 9:27 “And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” This rebellion would not only bring deception by satan, but God would also bring delusion upon the church. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” This delusion is why the church seems to think it is okay to go in a thousand different directions and say they still follow Jesus. We are told Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” There is only one straight path, and it is not the path man is making. Yet the church seems content going in the wrong direction that leads to death and destruction. 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.” The church is like the kings who followed the evil ways of those before them. 1 Kings 15:26 “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of his father and committing the same sin his father had caused Israel to commit.” 2 chronicles 29:6 “Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. 9 This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity.” 2 Chronicles 30:7 “Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 9 If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”
Following evil ways is what led Israel and Judah to be destroyed and taken captive. 2 Kings 17:13 “The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets. 4 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.” Just as Israel and Judah refused to listen, the church refuses to listen and continues following the ways of those who have gone before us. Instead of changing ways, the church continues to find new people to follow and new ways to adhere to. Evil or wicked ways are any way that is not the way, truth and life. People do not repent because they think I go to church so how could these ways be wicked? As soon as you go down a different path that the way of Jesus, those ways are wicked.
The doctrines of men and demons just lead the church further from the truth as we have seen since the Reformation. It did not produce unity in the Spirit because God had turned His face from the church. Division has destroyed the church. Jesus was casting out demons and the teachers of the law said, Luke 11:15 “By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons. 7 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18 If satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. 23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” The church is a house divided. The only way for God to turn His face back, is for the church to turn from wicked ways and repent. The church was supposed to move in power against our enemies, not our enemies moving in power against us and taking the church captive. Because the church stopped fearing God, God’s infinite wisdom and knowledge was replaced with man’s finite knowledge which led to disunity and disfunction. If the church would have feared God and followed His word, the way , truth and life, the church would have been unified in the Holy Spirit. When Spirit of truth returns, the true gospel (way, truth, life) will be preached and it will not matter where you live, it will be the same as Jesus preached. Jesus said John 14:25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 16:12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” Jesus also said, John 4:23 “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” Paul tells us we cannot worship any other way. 1 Corinthians 15:1 “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.”
When the church turns away from their wicked ways, and God turns His face back to the church, power will flow just as it did with Jesus and the disciples. Man’s ways have produced powerful people and organizations but there is no power to defeat our enemies. In the process, millions of people have been deceived and deluded into believing it really doesn’t matter if the church I go to is teaching me the truth. Most have accepted other gospels as truth even though God’s word states otherwise. Luke 13:23 “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 7:21 “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.” 1 John 2:3 “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”
The prophets of the Old Testament prophesied about Jesus and Jesus fulfilled those prophecies. Then Jesus showed us what the church would do and the authority and power it would have if we obeyed. Jesus told Peter, Mathew 16:18 “on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” The keys to the kingdom is power. 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 showed us this power. Mark 6:53 “When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.” 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.” He gave that same power and authority to His disciples. Mark 6:6 “Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” As Jesus said power would come at Pentecost. John 7:38 “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” He had told the disciples. Luke 24:49 “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.”
On the day of Pentecost that day came, and power was given to the church. 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.” They then went out in the same power and authority that Jesus had. Acts 3:6 “Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Acts 8:6 “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.” In man’s pathetic efforts to explain the powerless church and with help from satan, many in the church decided that power ceased and do not expect disciple to have the same power Jesus had. The bible does not say this. So instead of repenting and asking God to turn His face back to the church, they went with doctrines of demons instead and rejected Jesus. Most have set aside God’s word, the only way, truth and life for reason tradition and experience. This power was not supposed to stop but continue as we see in Acts 4:29 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” Acts 10:47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”
The bible tells us everything we need to know and does not need any help. There is only one way, not many. Not only do we have God’s word, but we also have creation that continues to reveal God to us. Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” So, we have the Old Testament that clearly shows the power of God as King Nebuchadnezzar said Daniel 4:2 “It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. 3 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.” Starting with creation we see God’s power. Remember everything was created by God’s speaking and as John tells us the word became flesh. John 1:2 “He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” That power would continue in the New Testament and was supposed to continue in the church. Daniel said Daniel 7:13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Jesus gave that power and authority to His disciples. 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.” Demons and diseases are still here but the power to heal and cast out is missing.
The church was supposed to continue in this power and authority after Pentecost but instead rebelled, even though the bible clearly shows that we must have power from on High. The church quickly adapted to being powerless by creating their own power which is not the power needed to defeat the work of satan, but persevered anyways. There is only one way to defeat satan and that is with power from on High. That then means the church must return to God’s word. Even though the enemy has defeated the church, it was only temporary. Isaiah 54:7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer.” Even though Ezra was talking about the remnant’s sin of intermarriage, the same can be said about the church because the church has disobeyed and not followed God’s commands. We should respond as Ezra did. Ezra 9:3 “When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled. 4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice. 5 Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God 6 and prayed: “I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens. 7 From the days of our ancestors until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword and captivity, to pillage and humiliation at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today. 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. 13 “What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved and have given us a remnant like this.” Daniel prayed and said, Daniel 9:4 “I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.”
Daniel then said Daniel 9:16 “Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us. 17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” After Ezra spoke, the people took action and obeyed. Ezra 10:10 “Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt. 11 Now honor the Lord, the God of your ancestors, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.” Obviously, we are not talking about this kind of separation, but the church is guilty of being unfaithful. Ezekiel 16:32 “‘You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband!” Hosea 5:4 “Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord. 5 Israel’s arrogance testifies against them; the Israelites, even Ephraim, stumble in their sin; Judah also stumbles with them. 6 When they go with their flocks and herds to seek the Lord, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them. 7 They are unfaithful to the Lord; they give birth to illegitimate children.” The church has committed both idolatry and adultery because the church has worshipped man and his teachings and has rejected Jesus the way, truth and life. Every church has followed other gospels knowingly and unknowingly yet refuses to repent.
Again, this is simple; admit to wicked ways and turn from them. Ask God to open eyes and ears. Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” If the church turns back to God’s word, there is hope. 2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” Jesus said Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” When the kingdom comes near, power from on High returns. 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.” Hosea 14:1 “Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! 2 Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. 3 Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount warhorses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion. 9 Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand.The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.” Revelation 22:6 “The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place. 7 Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”