Call To Worship: 1 Timothy 1:17 “to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Songs: While I'm Waiting - Travis Greene
Let Your Kingdom Come - The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Glorious Unfolding - Stephen Curtis Chapman
Scripture: Ezekiel 13:1 “The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins. 5 You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord. 6 Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words. 7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken? 8 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign Lord. 9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord. 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.”
Song: You Are / You Are Lord - Hillsong
Sermon: “Who Do You Say I Am?” (Have You Been Whitewashed)
Closing Song: Hosanna (Praise Is Rising) - Jadon Lavik
Benediction: John 12:13 “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” Revelation 4:8 “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”
Sermon: “Who Do You Say I Am?” (Have You Been Whitewashed)
Who do you say I am is the question Jesus asked Peter. Matthew 16:13 “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” Now I am pretty sure everybody in church today believes they have answered the question correctly, at least they have been told they have. It must be true as we just sang a song that said these very words in them. Today in all the times zones the church meets to give praise to God but that just isn’t true. That’s what most have been taught. They say we all love Jesus but truthfully each group thinks they are the way the truth and the life. The problem is that most have been whitewashed. This means to prevent people from learning the truth. Jesus takes it a step further and says Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
Now this is where I want to go with this today. How would you feel if what everything you have been told is a lie. Actually it won’t be everything but just enough to lead you astray. It will have the appearance of the church but will only be whitewashed walls and sepulchers. We read earlier the outcome of that wall so it is very important to check even today with what I am saying. The question is; will what you have been taught stand up in court. No I don’t mean the one at the courthouse with lawyers but the one where Jesus says welcome or I don’t know you. Sadly many will come to the end believing with all their heart, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” The reality is they have no idea who that is or what is expected from Him. The problem is that they have been lead astray and at the end of the path the dead are there as Proverbs tells us in Proverbs 9:16 “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.” 24 Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. 25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. 26 Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. 27 Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.” Jesus said Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Luke 13:24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because 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!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.” This isn’t a game show where you get to choose the right door and win something, this is for eternity and you don’t want to be disqualified for the prize as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9.
I still find it strange even though I know there is a famine of hearing the word that most will not repent at the word of God. That should make us even more fearful and thankful. Jeremiah 5:3 “Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.” Isaiah 30:1 “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the LORD, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; 8 Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness. 9 For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the LORD’s instruction. 10 They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. 11 Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” 12 Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, 13 this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. 14 It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern.” 15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
These are the deceptive times we live. Everyone has their own version of the truth aside from scripture, which as you know is impossible as that would be a false gospel. There is only one way. Acts 20:30 “Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” Malachi 2:1 “And now, you priests, this warning is for you. 2 If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. 5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin. 7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. 8 But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty. 9 “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.” There is a lot more we could say about false teachers that are everywhere but the truth is they will find the blackest darkness that is reserved for them but so will those who listen to them.
Think about how we have been raised. Now I realize that for some church was not part of their upbringing but somewhere along the line you ended up going to church whether on a parents knee or an invite from a friend or just walked in. For some they were true to the calling the first church they attended while others hop around back and forth albeit many different doctrines just as long as they can check the box that makes them feel better about themselves. In our day it is all about how good you feel about your worship experience. This shows that most people have no idea what they believe; they just think all they have to do is attend church somewhere. So you go to a church and you are taught what to believe. You then are encouraged to get involved so you need to become a member so you get a little deeper into the beliefs but still at this point most have no idea what it is they are signing up for. Its kind of like booking our sites for camping. They ask you to check the box when you have read the following. Check! Lets go camping! Then after sometime you may want to be a minister so you then you obtain a higher education and then you are part of a denomination or group and sign your life away again, saying you will preach what this particular church believes.
So when I went through the process I was asked “Do you cordially accept our articles of religion and membership commitments and agree to declare and defend them. And do you recognize your responsibility and cheerfully accept your obligation to promote and support the Wesleyan church and all the institutions and ministries approved by the Wesleyan church. They even go as far as saying Will you with diligence minister the doctrines, sacraments and disciplines of Christ being always ready to challenge strange doctrine which is contrary to God’s word wherever it may arise. Answer I will as God enables me.” I did that and no longer a Wesleyan.
The United Church said recently “As a Christian church, we continue to expect that ministers in the United Church of Canada will offer their leadership in accordance with our shared and agreed upon statements of faith.” But at the same time they want to be inclusive. Now in their case, that is a bit of joke since they are letting their atheist minister continue. One writer said “Letting a minister who doesn’t believe in God keep her employment with the church surely is taking inclusivity to new heights.” This was the earthly outcome of the Gretta Vosper saga but it is guaranteed that she will not hear well done in the end. Yes I realize this is extreme but look at this example from Saddleback, the purpose driven church. Rick Warren states, “Why do churches have so many members who give little or no evidence of Christian commitment or even conversion? Why do many churches find it difficult to motivate members to give, serve, pray, and share their faith? The answer is simple. The members were allowed to join with no expectations placed on them. You get what you ask for!” Their covenant states; 1. “I will protect the unity of my church 2. I will share the responsibility of my church 3. I will serve the ministry of my church 4. I will support the testimony of my church” That sounds all well and good but it takes on a life of its own. So the covenant with Jesus Christ is replaced by man’s covenant.
A while back we talked about Oswald Smith of the Peoples Church in Toronto and their considerable missionary endeavors that spread a false gospel around the world. Not only do churches want its pastors and members to adhere to their teachings of their distinctives you also have broad categories that people sell their soles to such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Catholicism, dispensationalism that touches many groups. When you listen you will here the same description come out of their mouths. They have adhered to a certain way of studying the bible and most will die that way. They have no idea they have been whitewashed.
What are people being saved into and who is the Jesus they think they are worshipping? This is a question we have to take very seriously. This man made thinking is across the board. If you are raised Catholic you look at the bible a certain way, Baptist, Pentecostal Reformed Methodist Brethren and on and on you go. Each group has their extra book that gives their own interpretation of the bible unless you go to Gretta Vospers church who doesn’t even believe in the bible. Yes the JW’s have altered the bible while all the others have just added and subtracted from it giving their particular bent on it, which gives you doctrinal distinctives. Groups who say they are not a denomination do the same thing. Now remember denominational distinctives are not the same as sound doctrines as talked about in scriptures. The doctrine they talk about is what you are required to adhere to to keep that ship afloat. The bible is talking about something totally different, it refers to this gospel. 1 Timothy 4:16 “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 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.” Titus 1:9 “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” When you turn from the word of God and write your own, what you end up with is doctrines of demons. 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” The KJV says 1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” This very thing has happened and the church has been seduced by doctrines of devils.
Now we have millions of people who have been born into one form of church or another but have they been born into the truth. Paul says in Timothy 2 Timothy 3:1 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.”
Whenever what is taught is contrary to the truth, these teachers oppose God’s word. Yes they think they stand for truth yet their folly is clear because the bible does not let them get away with it. They are even more accountable because they want to teach. 1 Timothy 1:7 “They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Every Sunday preachers will preach and teach what they have committed to teach. Everyday vloggers and bloggers will teach what ever they want with no accountability whatsoever other than likes and dislikes. Some have huge followings while others have very few but in all of this you should be asking is the Jesus.
Now remembering that God has turned his face from shining on us, the test is; is this gospel being preached until it happens. We have talked a lot about the true gospel which is casting out, signs, wonders, healings, miracles salvation all done in love and in the power of the Holy Spirit. 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.” This is what it should look like. If it doesn’t you should be told to wait /seek untill it does. Wherever you see a form of godliness and no power or mention of it coming or even being possible run. Wherever you have tribulation rapture millennial kingdom as the answer to the end run. Wherever you hear anything contrary to scripture run. As I was looking over what I had agreed to do in my ordination “being always ready to challenge strange doctrine which is contrary to God’s word wherever it may arise. Answer I will as God enables me.” I did that but was not received very well, so I gladly gave back my piece of paper that said I was ordained.
A true church will seek God until they find Him. A true church will stand on His word and not waiver. They will not turn to the right or to the left. Those who desire to be the church will stop what they are doing and start over. I have heard churches say what they are holding on to is truth but it is so far right or left already. Right from the beginning we have been required to obey. In the Garden, in the Promised land. Obey or be cast out. Sadly people in the church have bought what satan was selling and have been deceived. The church stopped following sound doctrine as described in the bible to follow empty ways of man. The futile or empty ways handed down to us by our fathers have left us on the wrong path. 2 Chronicles 29:8 “Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. 3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them. 4 He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side 5 and said: “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. 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. 7 They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, the anger of the Lord has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. 9 This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity.” King Hezekiah sent out couriers that said 2 Chronicles 30:6 “People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 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.” Daniel 9:7 “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. 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.” 2 Kings 17:5 “The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, 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.” 14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 40 They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41 Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.”
An easy way to find out if you are worshipping in the false ways of those who went before you is find out what you believe and find out where it came from. If there is an ism on the end of the word you are probably off track. One writer talked about all the isms of ideology such as Individualism and materialism etc. When it comes to movements in the church the sky is the limit. Denominationalism and schisms are two isms that go hand in hand. Basically take any church and its founder and add ism. The lists are just too long to go into. So what separates truth from fiction? First of all God will do the separation now and in the end. Matthew 13:49 “This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.” He will also presently do as he did with David and Saul, 1 Samuel 24:15 “May the Lord be our judge and decide between us.” He will do as he did with Moses and Korah. Numbers 16:5 “Then he said to Korah and all his followers: “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him.” He will do as he did with Aaron and the grumblers. Numbers 17:5 “The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.” We saw this with Elijah and the prophets of Baal. 1 Kings 18:36 “At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
When God moves, he moves in power. This is how you will know but at the same time we must test the spirits. Remember that 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.” If we stick to the truth we will see the difference. Fairy dust, gold fillings, angel feathers, falling backwards, convulsing, barking, laughing, wild behavior, tongues etc. not God. You will know the difference if you know the bible and live by it. Hebrews 2:4 “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” 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.” Mark 5:15 “When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.” 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?” 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.” When we know the gospel we see the results of the gospel and they will look like what Jesus did and what the disciples did.
There will be power and a fear of the Lord present, but not a fear brought on by the control of man. Picture this in todays church. Acts 5:1 “Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.” After his wife also died 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”
Right after this we see a summary in 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.” Later in Acts 19:15 “One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. 17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.”
Knowing whether you have been whitewashed takes discernment and humility and a willingness to turn away at any cost. Many have settled for a powerless empty way of life and have been led astray by the deception of satan even though they think they have answer correctly. They are also under delusion for unbelief. We have been warned just like Israel that there would be those who will deceive and be deceived. Many just accept what is being told to them with out ever checking. I speak of discernment because many who teach actually think they are teaching the word of God and are very convincing. Those listening actually think it is the word of God. They have been duped into believing there was only power at the beginning but not for now. The empty way they call the church is all they know and are not interesting in knowledge that leads to life. Paul said in Colossians 1:3 “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Unlike this group Paul was talking to, they have learned it from the wrong people. They have accepted that we just have to get by until the end. They believe that what we read is not for them even though the bible says it is. Paul even prays for us in Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked.”
So when you say “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Do you really know what you are saying? Is it God the father or the father of lies and you need to know the difference. 1 John 3:7 “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.” Interesting how most believe that you can’t stop sinning. This is because they have no idea what the true church is or life in the spirit means as Paul said in Romans 8:5 “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” John 8:42 “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” Because we have not believed the truth there is also a delusion brought on by God. Thankfully he has cut short this onslaught but we must continue to beg for mercy. Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” This elect is the remnant promise to David.
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 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. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” If we do not follow God’s word we are his enemy and there is no way we can say You are the messiah. What we are saying is an acknowledgement of the false gods you have chosen to follow. You will hear people defend their ism ways, Calvinism Armenianism . You will hear people defend their pre mid post views of the tribulations and rapture. You will hear people fight against the charismatic but while doing all this they have forgotten their first love. We must return to the word of God and not be afraid to stand on it olone.
I took a quick look at when the dark ages ended and that was roughly around 1500. Then you had the age of enlightenment and reason and science. I was looking at a chart that had the Reformation and the following results are just utter chaos from a “this gospel” viewpoint.
That is not this gospel. Now wouldn’t it be a good idea to return to “this gospel” which means turning from our wicked ways. A good example of this is when Josiah became king. It was prophesied that he would and he fulfilled that prophesy. 1 kings 13:2 “By the word of the Lord a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering. 2 By the word of the Lord he cried out against the altar: “Altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David.” Years later this was fulfilled. 2 Kings 22:1 “Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.” He found the book of the law and said “Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” He then renewed the covenant torn down demolished, removed, he did away with just as Israel was told when they took the land. Numbers 33:51 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, 52 drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places. 53 Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess.” This is what we have to do today as false gospels have taken over the land.2 Kings 23:25 “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.” But the people turned away again to follow their own empty ways. God allows this but at great cost. The good news
God will raise up a man after his own heart to bring us on track once again. 1 Samuel 13:14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” Acts 13:22 “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ 1 Samuel 2:35 “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always.”
God will always keep his promise to David but there will be many who go out on their own who refuse to follow God’s word. They will not even hesitate to follow after man and the teachings of satan. They will gladly take the kingdoms offered by satan and reign for a time. There will always be those who like to whitewash but they will be brought down and the remnant will rise once again once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. 31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. “The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this 34 I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’”
So I close with a promise and command. Zechariah 1:1 “In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo: 2 “The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. 3 Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty. 4 Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. 5 Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors? “Then they repented and said, ‘The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.’”